The United States calls on Russia not to proceed from the fact that it has complete freedom of action in Venezuela and to remember the possibility of Washington’s sanctions against Moscow in this direction. This was stated on Friday at a briefing for journalists by the US special representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams.
“I would just say that we have different options. It would be a mistake for Russians to think that they have complete freedom of action here. They do not have it”, – said an employee of the US state Department. “There are things that we can do in terms of the economy, in terms of sanctions”, Abrams said.
He was asked to clarify what measures the US has in mind when threatening Russia, warning her against the deployment of its armed forces in Venezuela. To enumerate specifically these possible steps the diplomat refused. At the same time, he said that the list of these possible measures has already been prepared and submitted to the US Secretary of state Michael Pompeo.
“We have a list of options that we have transferred to the Secretary of state. I would say that we can do a lot. Of course, first of all in the field of diplomacy,” said Abrams.
About Russian military in Venezuela
The diplomat was asked for what purpose, according to Washington, the Russian military arrived in Venezuela. “They are helping the regime of the President Nicolas Maduro with ZRK S-300, which was undoubtedly damaged due to a power failure in the country… I do not know what they call it — recalibration, reconfiguration, in any case, it is technical support”, — he believes. Abrams added that the United States “from the beginning adhered to this point of view” and continue to monitor the actions of Russian troops.
He also said that he does not know whether Moscow is going to send more military to Venezuela. The diplomat, whose apparatus is part of the structure of the American foreign Ministry, refused to discuss the equipment that could bring with them the Russian side.
According to the special representative, “the presence of Russian troops brings absolutely nothing useful to the people of Venezuela”. “They [the military] do not contribute to the solution of any of the problems faced by Venezuela — social and economic”, — said the diplomat.
Earlier on Friday, the US presidential aide for national security John Bolton said that the United States will consider the deployment of the armed forces of non – Western hemisphere countries as provocative actions that pose a threat to peace and security in the region.
The newspaper El Comercio reported that the An-124 and Il-62 with Russian soldiers and 35 tons of cargo arrived at the airport in Caracas on March 23. The President of the constitutional Assembly of Venezuela, Diosdado Cabello, subsequently confirmed the arrival of two aircraft from Russia.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the official representative of the Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said that experts from Russia arrived in Venezuela in strict accordance with the Constitution of the Republic. As Zakharova stressed, “the presence of Russian specialists in Venezuela is regulated by the agreement between the government of the Russian Federation and the government of Venezuela on military-technical cooperation, signed in May 2001 and timely passed the necessary ratification procedures in both States”.