MOSCOW, May 1 (Xinhua) -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday denounced Washington's support for the Venezuelan opposition in their attempt to seize power as an intervention in the country's internal affairs.
In a telephone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Lavrov noted the latest situation in Venezuela where the opposition had tried to seize power with "obvious support" from the United States, according to a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry.
"The Russian side stressed that Washington's interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state and threat against its leadership is a gross violation of international law," the statement said.
On Tuesday, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who had proclaimed himself as the interim president, reportedly called on the Venezuelan people and military to take to the streets to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, which was later frustrated by security forces.
Lavrov said that only the Venezuelan people have the right to determine their destiny and that destructive external influence has nothing to do with a democratic process.
On the other hand, Pompeo criticized that Russia's role in Venezuela is "destabilizing" for the nation and urged Moscow to "cease support for Nicolas Maduro", according to the U.S. State Department.
Earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova reportedly rejected Pompeo's claim that Maduro was preparing to leave Venezuela but was talked out of it by Russia.
"Washington tried its best to demoralize the Venezuelan army and now used fakes as a part of information war," she was quoted by Tass news agency as saying.