The Russian foreign ministry on Tuesday said two plane loads of Russian “specialists” who landed in Venezuela on the weekend did so as part of a military-technical cooperation agreement between the two countries.
US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that Russian soldiers needed to leave Venezuela, days after a Russian military contingent arrived just outside of Caracas, saying “all options” were open to make that happen.
“Russia has to get out,” Trump told reporters during a meeting with the wife of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido.
Asked how that could be accomplished, Trump said: “We’ll see. All options are open.”
Arrival of Russian military a provocation – Pence
The arrival of two Russian air force planes containing nearly 100 troops in Venezuela last weekend was a provocation, US Vice President Mike Pence said on Wednesday.
“The United States views Russia’s arrival of military planes this weekend as an unwelcome provocation,” Pence told reporters.
Russian deployment includes ‘cybersecurity personnel’ –US
A Russian military contingent that arrived in Venezuela over the weekend, drawing US condemnation, is believed by the US government to be made up of special forces, including “cybersecurity personnel,” a US official said on Tuesday.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the United States was still assessing the Russian deployment, which Washington has called a “reckless escalation” of the situation in Venezuela.