Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (C) speaks to a crowd of supporters to announce his government is breaking off diplomatic ties with the United States during a gathering in Caracas on January 23, 2019. (AFP)
MOSCOW, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin told Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro on Thursday that he supports the legitimate authorities of the country, the Kremlin said.
During a phone conversation with Maduro, Putin expressed support for the legitimate government "amid the worsening of the internal political crisis provoked from outside the country."
He criticized external interference as a gross violation of the fundamental norms of international law.
He suggested seeking solutions within the constitutional framework and overcoming differences in the Venezuelan society through peaceful dialogue.
Maduro told Putin his assessment of the situation in Venezuela and thanked the Russian leader for his stance.
The presidents agreed to continue Russian-Venezuelan cooperation in various areas.
U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that Washington had recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela's "interim president," after Maduro was inaugurated as president of the Latin American country earlier this month.
Earlier on Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia considers Maduro as the legitimate president of Venezuela and he warned against any outside attempts to usurp the supreme power of the country.
The Russian Foreign Ministry accused Washington of totally disregarding the norms and principles of international law and attempting to play the role of "the self-proclaimed arbiter of the destinies" of other nations.