Supporters of President Nicolas Maduro attend a rally in support of the state oil company PDVSA in Caracas, Venezuela January 31, 2019. (REUTERS PHOTO)
MOSCOW, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Russia has no plans to evacuate citizens from Venezuela despite the risk of a large-scale armed conflict or foreign invasion, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Thursday.
"We are not talking about the evacuation of either Russian diplomats, their families, Russian citizens, or employees of overseas agencies and companies. This I can confirm," Zakharova told a news briefing.
She said that "unfortunately, the threat of a large-scale armed conflict has not passed" in Venezuela.
A direct external intervention cannot be excluded, she added, recalling a line that read "5000 troops to Colombia" in the notepad of U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton, noticed by media at one of his recent briefings.
Zakharova said she has no doubt that foreign forces are hindering internal dialogue in Venezuela, where opposition is unwilling to engage in negotiations regardless of President Nicolas Maduro's readiness for talks.
However, Moscow believes that the possibilities of diplomatic assistance to Venezuela in solving its very complex crisis are not exhausted, she said.
On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia is ready to act as a mediator in establishing dialogue between the Venezuelan government and the opposition.
Maduro also said he was ready to negotiate with the opposition with the help of international mediators, in an interview with Russia's RIA Novosti news agency published earlier on Wednesday.