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U.S. prepares provocation in Venezuela: Russian FM

(Xinhua)    10:40, February 23, 2019

The United States is preparing a provocation in Venezuela disguised as humanitarian aid and aimed at toppling its legitimate government, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Friday.

"The situation in Venezuela has reached a critical point: on Feb. 23, a dangerous large-scale provocation is expected in the form of Washington-led crossing of the Venezuelan border by a so-called humanitarian convoy," Zakharova said at a news briefing.

This provocation is fraught with clashes between supporters of the Venezuelan government and its opponents, and is forming a convenient pretext for a military action to oust the current legitimate president, she said.

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido published Thursday on his Twitter account a decree to allow humanitarian aid into the country while the Venezuelan authorities strongly opposed it.

Washington is preparing for the provocation with the humanitarian convoy in accordance with military science rules and is transferring special forces and equipment closer to the Venezuelan border, Zakharova said.

According to Zakharova, there is evidence that U.S. companies and its NATO allies plan to acquire a large cargo of weapons and ammunition in an Eastern European country for subsequent transfer to Venezuelan opposition forces.

She said the cargo includes large-caliber machine guns, grenade launchers, portable air defense systems, and ammunition for shotguns and artillery weapons.

The delivery of the cargo to Venezuela is planned for early March with shipments in several batches through a neighboring country using transport planes of an international freight company, Zakharova said.

Ukrainian state aircraft manufacturing enterprise Antonov will be involved, Zakharova added, without providing more details.

"If the plans of the organizers of the provocation come true, it will mean the transition of the aggressive U.S. foreign policy to a new level, that of military adventures. But this is the way down, as there will be a sharp exacerbation of tension and a confrontation leap in the world," she said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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