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Trump tells Russian troops to leave Venezuela


IANS Washington
US President Donald Trump said that Russia should pull back its presence in Venezuela, a day after Russia defended its position on the issue.
"Russia has to get out," Trump on Wednesday told the press in the Oval Office, where he met with Fabiana Rosales, wife of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido.
Trump added that Russia understands US stance "very well", Xinhua news agency reported.
Earlier Wednesday, US Vice President Mike Pence called on Russia to cease talks with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and said Russia's military move was "an unwelcome provocation."
Two Russian air force planes landed in Venezuela on Saturday, carrying nearly 100 troops and 35 tons of materials, according to media reports.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that the presence of Russian specialists in Venezuela is in line with a military-technical cooperation agreement between the two countries, which does not need the approval of the Venezuelan National Assembly.
Trump also said that the Venezuelan government was under "plenty of pressure right now," noting that "other than military you can't get any more pressure than they have ... all options are open."
The US has been pursuing a policy of economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation against the Venezuelan government in support of the opposition leader Guaido.
Moscow has condemned Washington's threats against the legitimate Venezuelan leadership, calling them "blatant interference" in Venezuela's internal affairs and a "flagrant violation" of international law.
Venezuela has been plunged into political tension since January 23 when opposition leader Guaido declared himself the Latin American country's interim president and was recognised by the US and some other countries.

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First Published: Mar 28 2019 | 1:36 AM IST

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