St. Petersburg (Russia).- Russian President Vladimir Putin has branded as “crazy” countries that have recognized the self-proclaimed president of Venezuela Juan Guaidó during an interview on Thursday.
He also accused the US of «destabilizing world security» by withdrawing from crucial disarmament treaties.
In a meeting with the heads of international news agencies, including Efe, the Russian president ridiculed the way in which Guaidó has tried to come to power.
«What’s the name of the self-proclaimed? Gu … Guaidó, he’s a nice person, my attitude towards him is normal, absolutely neutral,» Putin said in response to a question about Venezuela.
«But if we introduce this practice, this way of coming to power – the person stands in a square, looks up to heaven and before God proclaims himself head of the state – … Is this normal?» the president asked, before responding that with this procedure there would be «chaos in the whole world.»
«So let’s choose the president of the United States like that, or elsewhere. Let us choose the British prime minister like that,» said Putin, laughing.
«Or the president of France, what would happen? I would like to ask those who support this, have you gone crazy? Do you understand what this can lead to? Do we have to have certain rules or not?» he emphasized.
Putin also assured that Moscow is not creating military bases or sending troops to Venezuela, but explained that Russia «must honor its contractual obligations» with the South American country in terms of maintaining the equipment previously supplied.
«We are not creating any base, nor taking troops there, it never happened, we only honor our contracts,» Putin insisted.
The presence of Russian personnel in Venezuela has caused concern in the US and other partners, and Washington came to ask Moscow to withdraw them from the Latin American nation.
Putin also made it clear that Russia is against interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela.
«We are against intervention in political affairs of other countries, we believe that this leads to serious consequences, not to say tragic, and the case of countries like Libya and Iraq is the greatest example of it. The road to hell is paved with good intentions,» he stressed.
During the interview, Putin did not spare warnings to the US, whose government he accused of having destabilized the entire structure of the global security system, by withdrawing or suspending important arms control treaties. And he has warned of the risk of the proliferation of these nuclear weapons.
«Our American partners got out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (…) that was the first step to dismantle from their bases the whole structure of international relations in the sphere of global security,» said the Russian president.
«And it was a very serious step, and now we are talking about the exit, also unilateral, of our US partners from the INF Treaty on medium and short range missiles.»
In the first case Washington «behaved honestly,» by leaving the treaty unilaterally without further ado, but with the INF «they try to blame Russia.»
Russia and the US accuse each other of having violated the INF on the elimination of medium and short range missiles signed in 1987, which was first suspended by President Donald Trump and later by Putin.
Under the agreement, «you can not deploy ground launchers of short and medium range missiles,» but the US «located them in Romania and now they will put them in Poland, it is a direct violation,» he emphasized.
«Now we have on the agenda the extension of the New START or START III – on nuclear weapons reduction that expires in 2021 – but it may not be prolonged,» Putin warned.
Given the possibility that the US and Russia will not reach an agreement to extend the life of the treaty, the Russian leader sent a message as a warning to Washington.
«Our modern systems are capable of guaranteeing Russia’s security for a fairly long future,» he said, adding that Russia has «really made a considerable leap» and has «overtaken its competitors in the creation of hypersonic weapons.»
«If nobody wants to extend the START III treaty, then we will not extend it, we have said hundreds of times that we are ready, but nobody talks with us until now,» he complained.
Putin also answered questions about the alleged Russian support for nationalist parties and movements in western Europe and the situation created by the independence plans in Catalonia.
Russia, he said, «does not want any European state to collapse.»
«We have an attitude of great respect towards Spain, the Spanish people, Spanish history, we have good relations, with historical roots, and we are not interested in the European countries dismembering one after the other.»
The president said that «in general it is a myth that Russia wants Europe to be weak.»
«Why would we need it? 40 percent of our gold reserves and currencies are denominated in euros. The European Union is our main economic partner. Why would we want everything there to be convulsed? It does not make sense,» he insisted.