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Russia accuses U.S. of planning to arm the opposition in Venezuela

Reuters logo Reuters 22/2/2019
a group of people in uniform: Lawmaker members of the Venezuelan National Assembly and supporters of the Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, clash with security forces as they block the road on the outskirts of Mariara © Reuters/ANDRES MARTINEZ CASARES Lawmaker members of the Venezuelan National Assembly and supporters of the Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, clash with security forces as they block the road on the outskirts of Mariara

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday accused the United States and its NATO allies of discussing how to arm the opposition in Venezuela and alleged Washington was deploying special forces and equipment near the South American nation.

Moscow cited unspecified information to back its assertion about the plans to arm the opposition, but did not say what that information was or present it.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said a U.S. humanitarian aid convoy for Venezuela could provoke clashes and create a pretext for removing President Nicolas Maduro, a staunch Russian ally, from power by force.

(Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Andrew Osborn)

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