Russian President Vladimir Putin. (File Photo: CGTN)
MOSCOW, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- Russia is ready to act as a mediator in improving relations between the authorities and the opposition of Venezuela, a senior Russian diplomat said Friday.
"If our efforts are needed, we are ready for these efforts, (and) we have no problems with that," RIA Novosti quoted Alexander Schetinin, director of the Latin American Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, as saying.
The news agency did not specify whether Russia had made an official offer.
Schetinin said that right now Russian officials do not plan contacts with the speaker of the Venezuelan parliament, Juan Guaido, who has declared himself the new president of Venezuela and was recognized as such by the United States and several other countries.
On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a phone conversation with incumbent Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, "expressed support for the legitimate Venezuelan authorities amid the worsening of the internal political crisis provoked from outside the country," according to a Kremlin statement.
Schetinin said that the crisis in Venezuela must be resolved by the Venezuelan people by peaceful means and in accordance with the country's constitutional procedures.
"We believe that now the task is to avoid any external influence, especially military on the internal situation in Venezuela," Schetinin said.
On Jan. 10, Maduro was sworn in before the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) to begin a new six-year term.
Maduro on Wednesday announced he was severing "diplomatic and political" ties with the United States after the US authorities recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the nation's interim president.
The announcement came hours after US President Donald Trump recognized Guaido as interim president in a statement issued by the White House. In addition, Trump has not ruled out the military option. He told reporters later in the day that "all options are on the table."