Russian military planes deliver troops and cargo to Venezuela

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Russian military planes deliver troops and cargo to Venezuela

It comes after two Russian air force planes landed at the South American country's main airport on Saturday carrying a defense official and almost 100 troops, according to media reports.

In a phone call with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Pompeo denounced the growing Russian military reinforcements as prolonging the political crisis in the South American country.

The official on March 24 appeared to confirm media reports that said Russian military jets carrying defense officials and almost 100 troops had landed in the South American country on March 23.

"Two Russian planes arrived in Venezuela on Saturday with equipment and personnel to fulfill technical military contracts", the agency reported on the Spanish-language version of its website.

Pompeo urged Russian Federation to "cease its unconstructive behavior" and support Guaido.

Javier Mayorca, a Venezuelan journalist, wrote on Twitter on Saturday that about 100 troops and 35 tonnes of cargo was offloaded from the Russian planes, one of which was carrying chief of staff of the ground forces, Vasily Tonkoshkurov.

A Ilyushin IL-62 passenger jet and a Antonov AN-124 cargo plane flew from Moscow via Syria.

Russian Federation says it is concerned that the U.S.is considering military intervention in Venezuela.

Social media and non-state Venezuelan media picked up the information and posted pictures of the planes at the airport.

A visit of Russian military personnel to Venezuela is in no way connected to the statements of the United States on potential intervention in Venezuela, a diplomatic source in Caracas told Sputnik on Monday. Russia, China, and Cuba have maintained their steadfast support of Maduro, and the Kremlin has a vested interest - Moscow has invested billions in an effort to keep the dictator's regime afloat. Maduro has denounced the sanctions as US interventionism and has won diplomatic backing from Russian Federation and China.

The Russian ministry at the time said the two Tu-160 bombers had arrived at an airport outside of Caracas on December 10.

Russian Federation has previously signalled its support for Maduro by sending two TU-160 bombers to Venezuela last December to take part in a military exercise.

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