17:34 GMT +320 August 2019
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    A Russian plane Antonov AN-12, takes off from Simon Bolivar International Airport in La Guaira, Vargas state, Venezuela on March 28, 2019.

    Russian Military Experts Completed Their Mission in Venezuela, But Can Return if Needed - Moscow

    © AFP 2019 / YURI CORTEZ
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    In January 2019 the President of the National Assembly of Venezuela, Juan Guaido, proclaimed himself the country's interim president. He was recognised by the US, the UK and some other countries, while Russia, China and Cuba continue to support Nicolas Maduro as constitutionally-elected president.

    Russian military experts have completed their mission in Venezuela but can return there if necessary, Russia's deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said during a visit to Venezuela.

    "It depends on whether there is a need for them. The tasks that the groups that worked here [in Venezuela] recently have been accomplished. If the situation requires their additional efforts or if things have been left unfinished, this will be done," he told reporters during a visit to Caracas.

    Mr Ryabkov will remain in the country until 22 July. He has had meetings with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and his Vice President Delcy Rodríguez. 

    The situation in Venezuela has remained tense since January, when anti-government protests erupted, fuelled by Juan Guaido’s move to proclaim himself the country’s interim president. The US recognised Guaido and imposed economic sanctions on Venezuela.

    Maduro called Guaido a 'puppet' of the Trump administration, saying that Washington wanted to install him to gain control of Venezuela's oil reserves. Russia considers Nicolas Maduro as the only legitimate president of Venezuela and has said the United States is using sanctions to drag the country into chaos. 

     

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