Flashpoints

Russia sends troops to Venezuela, a move Pompeo says increases tensions

CARACAS, Venezuela — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told the Russian foreign minister that Russia’s dispatch of military personnel to Venezuela is increasing tensions there.

U.S. State Department spokesman Robert Palladino says Pompeo called Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday and said “the United States and regional countries will not stand idly by” while Russia takes steps to support its ally, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Pompeo's call came after a Venezuelan official said Russian aircraft arrived in Caracas this weekend as part of ongoing military cooperation. Reports that two Russian air force planes arrived could not be independently confirmed.

The U.S. and dozens of other countries support Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who says Maduro’s re-election last year was rigged. Maduro alleges the U.S. and Guaido are plotting a coup.

photo_camera In this file photo from Sept. 12, 2008, Russia's strategic bomber Tu-160 or White Swan, the largest supersonic bomber in the world, lands at Engels Air Base near Saratov, about 700 kilometers (450 miles) southeast of Moscow. The Russian military says two of its nuclear-capable strategic bombers have arrived in Venezuela, a deployment that comes amid soaring Russia-U.S. tensions. (Misha Japaridze/AP)
Russia sends 2 nuclear-capable bombers to Venezuela

Two Russian nuclear-capable strategic bombers arrived in Venezuela on Monday, a deployment that comes amid soaring Russia-U.S. tensions.

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