Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday it is necessary to defend principles of international law in Latin American countries.

“The (Latin American) region is now living through difficult times and it is essential to defend principles of international law concerning the ongoing development there,” he said at a meeting with Cuban Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Economy and Planning Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz.

According to the Russian top diplomat, Moscow is glad to have a possibility to exchange views on the situation in that region with Cuban partners.

Venezuela’s incumbent President Nicolas Maduro won as many as 5.8 million votes at Sunday’s presidential polls. His closes rival, Henri Falcon of the Progressive Advance opposition party, managed to win 1.8 million votes.

 The country’s biggest opposition parties controlling the parliament refused to take part in the electoral process. More than 20.5 million voters were invited to take part in the polls. The voter turnout was about 46% The voting was held on the backdrop of an acute socio-economic crisis in the country.

Even before the voting results were made public, Falcon had said he would not recognize them and had accused the authorities of buying votes. Earlier in May, the United States, a number of Latin American countries and Spain said they would not recognize the results of the electoral process in Venezuela.

On Monday, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning US citizens and other individuals staying in his country to buy out the Venezuelan government’s debt securities. The ban is applicable to the debt of Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA.

Russia has repeatedly stressed that such unilateral restrictions are illegitimate and running counter to international law.

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