Russia on Wednesday accused the U.S. of trying to forcibly overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, whom Moscow supports.
“We will continue to resist attempts to stage a coup in Venezuela that have been a failure so far,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said.
Russia expects such coup attempts to “continue at the U.S. behest,” Ryabkov said in comments carried by state news agency TASS.
Russia has sent military advisers to Venezuela.
Washington has not excluded the possibility of a military intervention to oust Maduro, who won a second term in a disputed election a year ago and under whose rule the economy has edged towards collapse.
Opposition leader, Juan Guaido, whom the U.S. and dozens of other countries have recognised as Venezuela’s interim president, has repeatedly referred to an eventual military intervention recently.
Guaido also says he has won over part of the army, more than 1,000 of whose members have defected to Colombia and Brazil.
Maduro on Tuesday ordered the army to purge “traitors” from its ranks.
If such a person is discovered, “it is an order: capture him immediately,” Maduro told thousands of soldiers at a military event in the northern state of Carabobo.
More than three million Venezuelans have fled the country’s economic and political crisis abroad.
Colombia alone hosts 1.3 million Venezuelans, and an average of 2,500 more arrive every day, Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo said at a news conference on Wednesday.
He described the influx as placing a huge burden on Colombia’s hospitals and schools, and said the international aid the country had received was vastly inferior to the 1.5 billion dollars needed.
The minister launched an urgent call “for a greater mobilisation of international cooperation, because the migration will keep growing.”