Russia, Guyana officials to meet on claim of British military base in Essequibo River

Last Updated on Wednesday, 2 October 2019, 22:02 by Denis Chabrol

Guyana has written to Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov expressing concern about false information that has been peddled that Britain has set up a military base in Guyana to destabilise Venezuela.

Mr. Greenidge says Mr. Lavrov has since replied.

Mr. Greenidge says he expects the issue will be resolved in another couple of weeks, but he declined to say whether the Guyana government expects a retraction. “We have agreed a process. That’s all I’m prepared to say. I said to you they have responded and we have agreed that there will be a meeting with the Russian minister. That is the process. I can’t report more than that,” he said.

The Guyanese Foreign Secretary reiterates that the allegation by Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Vladimirovna Zakharova that a British military base was located on an Essequibo River island was utterly false. Guyana had previously called for a retraction, but so far he said the Russian Foreign Minister has merely responded to the correspondence dispatched to him.

The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman had said that Britain had been constructing the base under the plausible pretext to stop drugs and arms smuggling. However, she had said the real reason had been to train disgruntled Venezuelans to conduct reconnaissance and sabotage of the Nicolás Maduro administration.

British High Commissioner to Guyana, Greg Quinn has already rejected Russia’s claims, saying there was no such base and no plan to construct any either. “The claims by the Russian Foreign Ministry are clear disinformation. The UK does not possess, is not building nor operates from any base in Guyana,” he had said.