Russia ‘strongly condemns attempted military coup’ in Bolivia

Russia on Thursday condemned an “attempted military coup” in Bolivia and warned against “destructive foreign interference” in the South American country.

Two Bolivian army leaders were arrested on Wednesday after soldiers and tanks took up position in front of government buildings in what President Luis Arce called an attempt to overthrow his government.

Russia on Thursday joined a wave of countries denouncing the army’s actions.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he hoped for “calm as soon as possible” and the foreign ministry said it “strongly condemns the attempted military coup.”

“We express our full, unwavering support for the government of President Luis Arce,” the foreign ministry said.

“We stand in solidarity with brotherly Bolivia, our reliable strategic partner,” it added.

Arce visited Russia earlier this month, holding talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and speaking at a major economic forum.

At the meeting, Putin hailed a “solid foundation of respect” between the countries and said he hoped to boost economic ties, according to a Kremlin readout of the meeting.

It was a rare trip to Russia by a foreign leader amid Moscow’s full-scale military offensive on Ukraine, which has isolated Putin on the world stage.

Moscow also took aim on Thursday at unspecified foreign states it said were trying to interfere in Bolivia’s political process.

“We warn against attempts at destructive foreign interference in the internal affairs of Bolivia and other states, which has repeatedly led to tragic consequences for a number of countries and peoples, including in the Latin American region,” the foreign ministry said.

It did not specify what kind of “foreign interference” it was referring to, although Moscow routinely deploys such language to criticise the United States and other Western countries.

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