Russia reported Thursday that it will consider the senator who assumed control in Bolivia, after the removal of Socialist President Evo Morales, as the country’s new president, but only provisionally.

“Russia will consider Ms Áñez as the leader of the country, but only until the elections,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters in Moscow. “We are not talking about recognizing what happened in Bolivia as a type of legal process.”

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said earlier Thursday that Áñez did not obtain the necessary quorum in Congress and that his role now is to ensure that a new national vote takes place. Zakharova said that a new president in Bolivia can only be recognized in Moscow as legitimate on the basis of the election results.

Russia, which has backed Morales in Bolivia alongside the leftist government of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela, denounced the overthrow of the Bolivian leader as a “coup.”

Áñez, an opposition lawmaker, appointed a new cabinet and military high command during her first day in power on Wednesday, as a group of outraged Morales supporters clashed with police in central La Paz. The interim president reiterated her promise to hold elections. On Tuesday, Áñez told Congress that she would assume the leadership of the Senate and that, according to the Constitution, that makes her interim head of state.


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