Russia needs to leave Venezuela, said the President of the United States Donald Trump to reporters during a meeting with the wife of Juan Guaido, which Washington has recognized the interim President of Venezuela.
“Russia must get out”, the US President said. When asked how to achieve this, Trump said: “We’ll see. All methods are acceptable”.
Earlier, Vice President Mike Pence said that the US considers the arrival of Russian military aircraft in Venezuela as an “undesirable provocation”. “We call on Russia to stop all assistance to the Maduro regime and support Juan Guaido”, he said.
On the arrival of two aircraft with the Russian military in Venezuela became known on Sunday, March 24. The local newspaper El Nacional, citing journalist Javier Majorca, reported about 99 soldiers commanded by Colonel-General Vasily Tonkoshkurov. According to the service CivMilAir, on March 23 from Syria to Venezuela flew two aircraft-Il-62M with the Board number RA-86496 and AN-124-100. In turn, from the information of the FlightRadar service, it follows that both aircraft arrived in Venezuela for several hours, after which they took the opposite course.
Later, sources reported that the purpose of the visit of the Russian military to the South American country is consultations on military-technical cooperation (MTC). Subsequently, these data were confirmed by Bloomberg representative of the Ministry of communications and information of Venezuela. In Moscow, the fact of the visit was not confirmed.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) 27 марта 2019 г.
Source in the US government said that among the Russian military has deployed experts on the conduct of hostilities in cyberspace. Washington believes that the tasks of these servicemen include support of the Maduro regime in surveillance and protection of the government cyber infrastructure.
Following reports of the arrival of the Russian military in Venezuela, the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States indicated that such an “invasion” required the authorization of the National Assembly. “Foreign military is a tool of repressive intimidation”, the organization said.
In response, the Russian foreign Ministry recalled that in 2001 Moscow and Caracas signed an agreement on the MTC, further actions within the framework of which do not require coordination with the Venezuelan Parliament. “We are convinced that it is not the business of a technical body to tell an independent state with whom and how to develop cooperation, as well as to assess the status of the Venezuelan government, which has real power”, said the official representative of the foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova.