Russian military specialists arrive in Venezuela to service equipment - Ifax

MOSCOW/CARACAS (Reuters) - A group of Russian military specialists has arrived in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas, the Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday, as Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro meets with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to improve cooperation. Moscow has been one of Maduro's biggest backers amid what it has described as U.S.

Reuters September 26, 2019 01:11:40 IST
Russian military specialists arrive in Venezuela to service equipment - Ifax

Russian military specialists arrive in Venezuela to service equipment  Ifax

MOSCOW/CARACAS (Reuters) - A group of Russian military specialists has arrived in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas, the Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday, as Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro meets with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to improve cooperation.

Moscow has been one of Maduro's biggest backers amid what it has described as U.S. efforts to undermine him, and has provided loans and other help for the military and oil industry in Venezuela, where Russia has major energy investments.

The Russian government has dispatched troops to Venezuela several times already this year to service military equipment, despite the U.S. government repeatedly warning Putin against sending Maduro military assistance.

The Interfax report did not say how many specialists had been sent, but it cited an unnamed source saying they had been dispatched to carry out maintenance on Russian military hardware sold to the Latin American country.

Two Russian planes had landed recently in Venezuela, Interfax reported, citing social media reports.

A Reuters photographer on Wednesday saw one Russian air force jet at Caracas' main Maiquetia airport. The plane had left Moscow on Sept 20, according to flight tracking website Flight Radar.

Maduro on Monday left for a state visit to Russia and on Wednesday met with Putin, who said he backed negotiations between Venezuela's government and the opposition.

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido said earlier this month that negotiations in Barbados with the government, mediated by Norway, had been exhausted after the Maduro administration withdrew delegates following a tightening of U.S. sanctions. A small group of opposition lawmakers has entered separate talks with Maduro, which Guaido has rejected.

Meeting Maduro in Moscow, Putin said Moscow considered any refusal to hold dialogue to be "irrational and harmful for the country and a threat to the welfare of the population."

(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova in Moscow and Carlos Garcia Rawlins in Maiquetia; writing by Tom Balmforth and Angus Berwick; Editing by Alison Williams and Steve Orlofsky)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.