Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. (File photo)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. (File photo)

Russia denies having told US about pulling military personnel out of Venezuela

ANI | Updated: Jun 05, 2019 02:00 IST

Moscow [Russia], June 5 (ANI): Russia has denied having told the United States about pulling most of its military personnel out of Venezuela, contradicting the claim made by President Donald Trump on Monday.
In response to a question on whether Trump's tweet was true, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he was surprised when he read the tweet, adding that the US President apparently read an article in the Wall Street Journal, which mentioned that "thousands of Russian specialists" having been removed from Venezuela.
"The tweet raises questions about the quality of those advisers who put information on the table for the U.S. president," Lavrov was quoted by Xinhua, as saying.
In a development that was read as a major blow to the Nicolas Maduro's regime, Trump had on Monday tweeted that Russia informed Washington that it has pulled out most of its military personnel from Venezuela.
It may be noted that Russia has backed Maduro ever since the political turmoil began in Venezuela. The country has been firm in its backing in spite of the fact that Maduro's regime has been opposed by more than 50 countries, including the US, Canada, and the UK.
The political turmoil in the Latin American country began in January when Maduro was sworn in for a second term after an election that has since been termed by most of the international communities as "rigged." The country plunged into political crisis after opposition leader Juan Guaido proclaimed himself as the President amid throngs of cheering supporters who called for Maduro to step down.
The crisis took a turn for the worse on April 30 when Guaido declared that he was "beginning the final phase of Operation Freedom," in an apparent bid to oust Maduro. His call led to protesters collecting at the La Carlota military airbase, where a confrontation between the opposition leader's supporters and Maduro's supporters took place. In the clashes that ensued, at least 71 people were injured.
The situation in the country has improved since then, owing to the two rounds of talks between the representatives of the government and the opposition in Norway's capital city of Oslo. (ANI)