Moscow considers the decision of the High Court of London in a dispute over Venezuelan gold stored in Britain to be outrageous; there has been a real rejection by one state of the property of another, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
The High Court of London in a dispute between the Bank of Venezuela and the Bank of England on the return of gold bars worth 930 million euros stored in the UK, recognized the legitimacy of the presidency of opposition leader Juan Guaido, who illegally proclaimed himself head of state. The Central Bank of Venezuela said it would appeal the decision of the court of London.
“We note with concern that the High Court of London decided to recognize Juan Guaido as the “interim president” of Venezuela and provide him with access to the gold reserves of this country held by the Bank of England”, – the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
“This decision is outrageous… Obviously, in the UK, the independence of the court only works as long as the position of the judges is consistent with the opinion of the government. We would study with great interest the legal arguments of the High Court of London – however, apparently, there are simply no such arguments. British law is silent when political expediency is at stake”, – the ministry said.
It is convenient to take gold from other countries for storage, and then not to give it back. Abroad, this is normal practice: they either do not believe that you will pay the loan, then you generally have the dictator in power, and you see, they like the other candidate. The United States and England have already done so, but they still have many foreign reserves.
As the Russian Foreign Ministry emphasized, “as a result of violation of a number of principles and norms of international law – non-interference in internal affairs, respect for sovereignty, immunity of state property – there was an actual rejection by one state of the property of another state in order to support an unconstitutional coup in that other state”.
“At the same time, of course, the interests of the Venezuelan people, already suffering from sanctions that are also contrary to international law, were violated”, – the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
At the end of January 2019, the Bloomberg agency, citing sources, reported that the Bank of England refused to issue Caracas with $1.2 billion in gold bullion. An unnamed source told the agency that the decision to not give gold was made after senior US officials, including US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Presidential Advisor for National Security John Bolton, pressured their UK counterparts to block access to the president Venezuelan Nicolas Maduro to his assets abroad. Maduro later said that the Bank of England kept 80 tons of gold belonging to the Venezuelan authorities.
Also in the media there was information that Guaido turned to Theresa May, who was then the Prime Minister of Great Britain, with a request not to return gold bars to the government of President Maduro.
In Venezuela, on January 21, 2019, mass protests began against President Nicolas Maduro shortly after being sworn in. The head of the National Assembly, controlled by the opposition, Juan Guaido illegally proclaimed himself the interim head of state. A number of Western countries led by the United States announced the recognition of Guaido. In turn, Maduro called the head of parliament a US puppet. Russia, China, Turkey and several other countries supported Maduro as a legitimate president. In Moscow, they called the “presidential status” of Guaido nonexistent.Berlin metro station will be renamed in honor of the Russian composer due to anti-racist outburst