Russia on Saturday warned Washington to stop interfering in the stand-off between Venezuela’s government and the opposition movement, and once again defended its decision to send personnel to the country.
“We recommend that the United States stop threatening Venezuela, smothering its economy and pushing it towards civil war in open violation of international law,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement.
On Friday, a statement from the US National Security Advisor John Bolton warned “actors external to the Western Hemisphere against deploying military assets to Venezuela”.
But Zakharova, in her statement Saturday, said Russia had made it clear it was not sending a military contingent to Venezuela.
Two Russian military planes landed a week ago at the main airport outside Caracas and offloaded equipment and troops, ratcheting up international tensions.
Russian officials insist the troops came to Venezuela as part of a long-standing agreement on military and technical cooperation.