New York: The United States is seeking a United Nations Security Council resolution calling on Venezuela to conduct free, fair and credible presidential elections with international observers, news agencies reported.
Prompted by the US move, Russia has proposed a rival resolution, essentially raising concerns over outside interference in Venezuela's internal affairs.
Moscow has refused to support a US-led campaign to recognize Venezuelan opposition leader and head of the country's elected National Assembly Juan Guaido as president and continues to back Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro. Guaido last month declared himself interim president, challenging Maduro's rule.
More than 40 nations, including the US, major European powers, and most of Latin America have recognized Guaido as the country's interim head of state. EU nations back Guaido as Venezuela's interim leader
The US-drafted resolution, which was discussed privately on Friday by diplomats from the 15 Security Council members, expresses "full support for the National Assembly as the only democratically elected institution in Venezuela."
It also "calls for the immediate start of a political process leading to free, fair and credible presidential elections, with international electoral observation, in line with Venezuela's constitution."
The draft resolution expresses concern over "violence and excessive use of force by Venezuelan security forces against unarmed, peaceful protesters."
Russia's rival resolution
During discussions on the draft resolution, Russia — which has accused Washington of backing a coup attempt in Venezuela — proposed an alternative text, diplomats said.
The Russian draft expresses "concern over the attempts to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction" and also expresses "concern over the threats to use force against the territorial integrity and political independence" of Venezuela.
US President Donald Trump has not ruled out a military intervention in the Latin American country.
However, whether and when the two drafts would be put to a Security Council vote was not clear.