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MOSCOW (AP) — Russia has scoffed at the U.S. demand to withdraw its military personnel from Venezuela, saying that their presence in the country is fully legitimate.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement late Tuesday that the presence of Russian military personnel in Venezuela is “in strict accordance” with the Venezuelan constitution and a bilateral agreement on military cooperation. She said that it doesn’t require any approval by Venezuela’s opposition-controlled National Assembly.
The article goes on to state the following:
On Wednesday, Zakharova lashed out at the U.S. call on Russia to withdraw its military personnel, saying that U.S. President Donald Trump should first honor his own pledge last fall to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria.
“Some liken the U.S. to an elephant in a china shop, but those animals behave delicately and reasonably,” Zakharova said. “It acts on the international arena more like a cowboy in the Louvre Museum.”
“As in colonial times 200 years ago, the U.S. continues to regard Latin America as a zone for its exclusive interests, its own ‘backyard’ and they directly demand that it should obey the U.S. without a word and that other countries should steer clear of the region,” Zakharova reportedly said. “[D]oes the U.S. think that people are waiting for it to bring democracy to them on the wings of its bombers? This question can be answered by Iraqis, Libyans and Serbs.”
Konstantin Kosachev, head of the Russian Parliament’s foreign affairs committee, also spoke out about Russia’s presence in Venezuela. On Russian state television, Kosachev said military cooperation with Venezuela is “fully legitimate.”
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