Moscow warns Russians vs. travel to Paraguay

June 26, 2012 10:14 pm 

MOSCOW, June 26 — The Russian Foreign Ministry has advised Russian citizens to temporarily refrain from traveling to Paraguay due to a growing political crisis in the Latin American country.

“We urge the Russian citizens who are planning to travel to Paraguay in the near future to refrain from making such trips until the improvement of the situation there,” the ministry said on its website Monday.

Paraguay's Congress voted overwhelmingly Friday to remove President Fernando Lugo from office over the June 15 deadly clashes between farmers and police officers, which reportedly killed 17 and injured at least 100.

Liberal Vice President Federico Franco, whose party supported the impeachment, took over as president until April 2013, when Paraguay holds presidential and parliamentary elections.

Lugo, a former Catholic priest, compared the move to a coup.

At first he said he would obey the decision, but later pledged to do everything he could to press for a peaceful return to the presidential post.

The ouster was criticized by many countries, while Venezuela, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Ecuador, Chile and Colombia recalled their top diplomats from Asuncion for consultations or as protest against the impeachment decision.

A summit of South American trading bloc Mercosur, which comprises Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay as full members, and Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru as associate members, will meet later this week to discuss the situation in Paraguay.

Argentina, which currently holds Mercosur's rotating presidency, said Paraguay’s new government would not be allowed to attend the meeting. (PNA/RIA Novosti) hbc/ssc

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