Russia will only recognize the early presidential elections in Venezuela if President Nicolas Maduro is the one to call them, Russian Ambassador to Venezuela Vladimir Zayemsky said, TASS reports.
He reminded that Moscow recognized the results of the May 2018 presidential election, which was attended by observers from various states, including Russia. "The necessity to hold a new presidential election is presented as an ultimatum, with no regard for domestic policy situation in the country and the current Constitution of Venezuela," the diplomat said in response to a question about early presidential elections. "In our opinion, this is direct interference in the internal affairs of the country, and Moscow does not intend to support such an initiative."
"If the decision to hold such elections will be made by Maduro, based on a national dialogue, we see no obstacles in the way of recognizing their results," the diplomat added.
"In this case, a lot will depend on following the principle of free competition of candidates, of a democratic and free electoral process, of adherence to electoral procedures stipulated in the Venezuelan legal framework," the ambassador continued. "So I would not plan too far ahead so far."
In response to a question about potential successors of Maduro (Acting Vice President of Venezuela Delcy Rodriguez or head of the Constituent National Assembly Diosdado Cabello), the ambassador stated that making predictions does not make a lot of sense currently.