Guyana slams Russia over ‘false’ statement on construction of military base

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Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Karen Cummings

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, today said, it has noted with concern a statement made by the spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation, M. V. Zakharova, during a briefing on August 15, 2019 on the sidelines of the International Youth Forum Eurasia Global in the Russian city of Orenburg.

According to a release from the Ministry, the spokesperson stated that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was “completing the construction of a military base on one of the islands at the mouth of the Essekibo (sic) River under a plausible pretext – supposedly to stop the smuggling of weapons and drugs.”

The Ministry claims that the Russian official went on to say, “there have already arrived several dozen so-called ‘Refugees’ from Venezuela to undergo training as part of reconnaissance and sabotage groups and then to be dispatched to Venezuelan territory in order to destabilize the situation and carry out appropriate actions – from extremist to terrorist.”

“The Government of Guyana calls on the Government of the Russian Federation to immediately withdraw this baseless statement, which is utterly false. It is especially unfortunate given that relations between Guyana and Russia have always been based on mutual respect, trust and friendship.

“The Government of Guyana reaffirms its unequivocal commitment to the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter. Guyana has always been resolute in its advocacy for several principles of international law including, in particular, the sovereign equality of states. Guyana therefore categorically rejects any suggestion that it would allow its sovereign territory to be used in a manner inconsistent with its neighbourly and peaceful relations with Venezuela.

“Furthermore, in respect of the controversy arising from Venezuela’s contention that the 1899 Arbitral Award establishing the boundary between British Guiana and Venezuela is “null and void”, Guyana remains fully committed to the January 30, 2018 decision of the United Nations Secretary-General, pursuant to his authority under the 1966 Geneva Agreement, to choose the International Court of Justice as the means for the peaceful settlement of the controversy,” the statement added.