March 19, 2019 5:19
Updated March 19, 2019 17:55
The United States and Russia failed to bring their positions closer to the Venezuelan crisis. Elliot Abrams, the United States special representative for the crisis in Venezuela, and Sergey Riabkov, Russian deputy foreign minister, considered, however, that the consultation between the two nations was useful.
Meeting in a hotel in the Italian capital behind closed doors, Abrams reiterated that for Washington "all options are on the table" and pointed out that the United States has chosen to exert economic and political pressure on Nicolás Maduro and his relatives.
Donald Trump's correspondent described the meeting with Riabkov as "positive, serious and substantial", although Washington and Moscow maintain opposing positions, given that the former recognizes Juan Guaidó as incumbent president and the latter is an ally of Maduro.
"It was useful for us to understand that Russia considers the crisis in Venezuela very serious, unlike Maduro," said Abrams. He added that at least it is good that "both sides come up with a better understanding of each other's positions" and agree that a peaceful solution is needed.
Riabkov said "the conversation was difficult, but sincere". He indicated that although the parties did not achieve a rapprochement of opinions, "we have a better understanding of the US position on the matter".
"We will analyze the signals we will receive from representatives of the United States, based on the criterion that Washington has taken our priorities, approaches and warnings seriously," he said.