Russia’s ambassador to Colombia, Nikolai Karlovich Tavdumadze, arrived at the Foreign Ministry tonight to speak with the Colombian government about the diplomatic tensions of recent weeks originating from the issue of Venezuela.
The meeting was attended by the Vice President and Foreign Minister, Marta Lucía Ramírez, and the Minister of Defense, Diego Molano.
Last Friday, after a harsh statement from that delegation in response to statements by Minister Molano, President Iván Duque summoned the Russian ambassador to Colombia, Nikolai Karlovich Tavdumadze.
The Foreign Ministry highlighted that they discussed “the concern of the Colombian Government to guarantee the highest level of security on the border and avoid the risk that cooperation through military equipment, could end up in the hands of the illegal armed groups that operate on both sides of the border.”
At that meeting, the Foreign Ministry affirmed, the Russian ambassador was also expressed the urgent The need for the Colombian Government to guarantee the application of the end-user certification of the military equipment that is delivered, so that it cannot be used by third parties.
“Ambassador Tavdumadze reaffirmed that Your country’s cooperation in Venezuela can never be used to attack any country in the region or affect its stability. It was agreed to preserve diplomatic, constructive and respectful dialogue in order to increase the bilateral relationship between the two s countries to achieve greater educational, cultural and commercial cooperation,” the Foreign Ministry added in the statement.
At the end of the meeting, the Russian ambassador said that it was a very constructive meeting and that cooperation between the two countries was discussed.
He said that it was agreed to make an effort between the parties to promote the friendly relationship that has existed for many years.
“We have covered some issues of concern that the Colombian government had” and pointed out that the Minister of Defense, Diego Molano, I assure you that his words about interference in Colombian relations were distorted and did not correspond to what he said.
“Here we have clarified the situation and we have underlined that we must talk frankly through diplomatic channels”, he added
The ambassador said they are open to this type of exchange of opinions.
In context: Duque will summon the Russian ambassador to talk about Venezuela)
Last Thursday the Minister of Defense, Diego Molano, affirmed that some men and units of the Bolivarian Military Force “with the support and technical assistance of Russia and Iran.”
These statements were rejected and denied by the Russian embassy in Colombia: “These irresponsible statements of the member of the Government Cabinet seem even more inappropriate in view of the meeting of President Iván Duque with the heads of accredited Diplomatic Missions that was held the same day”, questioned the embassy in a statement.
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EL TIEMPO published this Sunday exclusively excerpts from the intelligence information referred to by Molano in his explosive statements. There are from testimonies from sources in Caracas to fresh photos of the permanent and large landing of Russians and Iranians in the neighboring country.
The information collected indicates that, under the supposed mission of maintaining the Sukhoi Su- 30MK2V –which fire Kh-31 anti-ship missiles–, about 68 members of the Russian army remain in Venezuela and are relieved every three months.
“They move internally in official planes, one of them with license plate 0956”, assured a human source. And he added that two of them had recently passed to Colombia.
(Also: ‘Colombia is concerned about the safety of its citizens’: foreign minister)