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US warns Russia against sending troops to Venezuela


The US on Friday warned Russia against sending troops and military equipment to Venezuela, saying such actions will be considered as a "direct threat to international peace".
"We strongly caution actors external to the Western Hemisphere against deploying military assets to Venezuela, or elsewhere in the Hemisphere, with the intent of establishing or expanding military operations," Al Jazeera quoted US National Security Adviser John Bolton as saying.
"We will consider such provocative actions as a direct threat to international peace and security in the region," Bolton added.
Bolton warning was in the reference to the reports that two Russian military jets with 100 soldiers on board reached Caracas.
He also condemned Russia-backed Venezuela socialist President Nicolas Maduro by saying, "use of foreign military personnel in his attempt to remain in power, including the introduction of Russian military personnel and equipment into Venezuela".
Further building the pressure on Moscow, US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott on Friday Abrams threatened Russia of "imposing sanctions" if it does not stop meddling in Venezuela politics. "The Russians will pay a price for this," he said.
Venezuela has become another bone of contention between Washington and Moscow's relations. While Russia is supporting Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro, US is speaking in favour of self-proclaimed President Guaido. Both countries have claimed to sent humanitarian aids to Caracas.
US President Donald Trump said that he will consider "all options" in order to make Russian troops leave Venezuela.
US secretary of the state Mike Pompeo recently asked Russia to "cease its unconstructive behaviour" as it is "exacerbating tensions" in Caracas.
Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said that Russia would send medicine "next week" to Venezuela, amid reports of strengthening ties between Caracas and Moscow.
According to Al Jazeera, the Maduro regime in February had blocked a convoy carrying humanitarian aid from entering into Venezuela via the border with Colombia. He also ordered the closure of Venezuela's border with Brazil "until further notice" amid a tense standoff with the US-backed Opposition leader, Juan Guaido, over allowing in humanitarian aid.

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First Published: Mar 30 2019 | 3:34 AM IST

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