14:25 GMT07 April 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian military equipment will participate in military drills in Venezuela, scheduled for 24 July, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Thursday.

    "The weapons and military equipment that are currently present in Venezuela and that the National Bolivarian Armed Forces use are mostly Russian-made. So, it just cannot be otherwise. I don't know if they have purchased any kinds of equipment in other countries, but the army is equipped with our weapons to a significant extent, so it will be used as well", Ryabkov told reporters.

    The diplomat also noted there are almost no Russian military experts in Venezuela right now.

    "A rotation has taken place. As I see it, the presence of our personnel there is close to zero. However, this does not mean that it will not appear there when the need may arise to maintain the equipment", he said.

    Claims emerged back in June that Russia planned to increase its military presence in Venezuela.

    Addressing the issue, the Russian Embassy in the country stressed that Moscow was, in fact, withdrawing its experts from Venezuela; personnel who had provided technical assistance in the maintenance of military equipment.


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