`Military exercises are a regular feature of state relations’

—Greenidge says on deployment of Russian bombers to Venezuela

Following reports that Russia deployed two long-range bombers to Venezuela on Monday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge, noted that government is monitoring the ongoing developments.

A statement released by the ministry yesterday acknowledged that “….military exercises are a regular feature of state relations and do not in themselves constitute a threat.”

Referencing the border controversy, it stated that “Guyana remains open to pursuing meaningful functional cooperation with Venezuela whenever that opportunity arises,” and went on to issue the reminder that “Guyana and Russia have had cordial diplomatic relations since December 17, 1970”. 

Furthermore, the release noted that Guyana is fully committed to adhering to the international rule of law, which includes the peaceful resolution of disputes.

An article published by Reuters on Tuesday reported that two strategic bomber aircraft, TU-160 supersonic bombers, also known as “White Swans”, landed in Venezuela.

The article noted that the aircraft are capable of carrying short-range nuclear missiles and flying over 12,000km without refueling. It was also reported that it is the third time within the last decade that they have landed in Venezuela.

It was stated that the development was a “show of support for Venezuela’s socialist government” and a move which “has infuriated Washington”. It was reported that the move came mere days after President of Venezuela, Nicholas Maduro, held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

At the time, Reuters said that Russia’s Defence Ministry had made no indication as to whether the bombers, which were said to have been accompanied by two other Russian military planes, were carrying missiles, what they were intended for, and how long they would remain grounded.

However, Reuters reported yesterday that Russia related to the United States that the military aircraft will leave for Russia tomorrow.

“We have spoken with representatives of Russia and have been informed that their military aircraft, which landed in Venezuela, will be leaving on Friday and going back to Russia,” Reuters reported White House press secretary Sarah Sanders as saying in an email.

On Tuesday, Reuters also reported U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as having posted on Twitter: “Russia’s government has sent bombers halfway around the world to Venezuela” and “The Russian and Venezuelan people should see this for what it is: two corrupt governments squandering public funds, and squelching liberty and freedom while their people suffer.”

While the news agency noted that Venezuela’s Information Ministry had not provided a response to a request for details on the bombers, it was stated that “Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza called Pompeo’s comments “not only disrespectful, but cynical”.

“It’s strange the U.S. government questions our right to cooperate on defence and security with other countries, when @realDonaldTrump publicly threatens us with a military invasion,” Arreaza also tweeted.





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