Russia should encourage its Venezuelan ally President Nicolas Maduro to avoid violence amid a street revolt aimed at ousting him, the US representative on the crisis said Tuesday.
"The Russians have been playing a very unhelpful role," envoy Elliott Abrams told reporters.
"It would be helpful if they would make a call for no violence, because one of the things we have seen in a few cases today is violence on the part of the Venezuelan security forces against unarmed, innocent civilians," he said.
Russia earlier accused Juan Guaido, recognized by the United States and more than 50 other countries as interim president, of fuelling conflict and urged negotiations -- an option Washington has rejected.
Abrams said he had exchanged messages with Guaido at around 1800 GMT on Tuesday and that the opposition leader appeared to be "buoyant and determined."
The US envoy also questioned why Maduro had not been seen in public throughout the tumultuous day.
"Normally one would view that as a sign that he is unsure of the support that he has, as he ought to be," Abrams said, while adding that the situation across Venezuela was "confused.
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