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Maduro orders to intensify 'defensive actions' due to British ship in Guyana

Maduro orders to intensify 'defensive actions' due to British ship in Guyana Photo: President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro (Getty Images)

President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro has declared that the presence of the British military ship HMS Trent in Guyana violates the "spirit" of the agreement between Guyana and Venezuela, reports EFE.

Maduro stated that the positioning of the British vessel near Guyana is a "practically military threat from London." In response, he ordered the "activation of joint defense actions of the national armed forces" near the Essequibo coast.

In response, the military leadership in eastern Venezuela announced that 5,600 servicemen were ready for the operation.

At the same time, the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the country "preserves all actions within the framework of the Constitution and international law to protect its maritime and territorial integrity."

Dispute between Venezuela and Guyana

President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela recalled this year the longstanding territorial conflict with Guyana. Venezuela claims almost 70% of the territory of the neighboring country, which is rich in oil and other valuable resources.

Venezuela claims that this territory was ceded to it after gaining independence from Spain, while Guyana considers it to have been part of British Guiana, which later became independent Guyana.

In early December, Maduro held a referendum in Venezuela on the annexation of part of Guyana. Just a few days after the referendum, Maduro announced the annexation of the Guyanese territory and presented a new map of the country on television, including the disputed region.

In mid-December, Maduro announced that he had reached an agreement with the leader of Guyana to peacefully resolve the dispute and continue negotiations. Both sides stated that they would not use force.

Read more about the conflict between Venezuela and Guyana and how it may affect Ukraine in the material by RBC-Ukraine.