Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday he opposed sanctions against Venezuela that were imposed last week by the United States.
President Barack Obama declared Venezuela an “extraordinary threat to the national security” of the United States.
Lavrov, speaking during a visit to Colombia as part of a tour of Latin America, said Venezuela had to resolve its problems by itself “without outside interference.”
The new US sanctions threaten to tarnish the goodwill Obama fostered in the region by moving to end Washington’s five-decade sanctions against Cuba.
Obama imposed the new sanctions on seven senior Venezuelan officials accused of rights abuses and an opposition crackdown.
Venezuela’ in turn has responded by recalling its envoy to Washington and lashing out at the “imperialist elite.”
Lavrov hailed the position of the South American bloc UNASUR, which is opposed to the decree signed by Obama.
UNASUR, which includes Colombia and 11 other countries, is calling for the removal of the US sanctions against senior Venezuelan officials.
Lavrov has visited Cuba prior to his stop in Colombia and will move on next to Nicaragua and Guatemala.