June 4, 2019 / 8:54 AM / 2 months ago

Russia to Trump: Our military personnel are still in Venezuela - Ifax

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (L) and Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino shake hands during a meeting with military commanders, in Caracas, Venezuela June 3, 2019. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A statement by U.S. President Donald Trump asserting that Russia had removed “most of their people” from Venezuela does not correspond to reality and military cooperation continues, Interfax news agency cited a source as saying on Tuesday.

A full withdrawal of Russia’s military specialists from Venezuela would be a blow to embattled socialist President Nicolas Maduro who counts Moscow as a close ally.

Trump posted a message on Twitter on Monday about the alleged Russian drawdown while on a state visit to London but did not provide any further details.

Interfax cited an unnamed source in Caracas as saying Russia was continuing to support Venezuela through a long-standing programme of military technical assistance.

Reporting by Andrew Osborn and Maxim Rodionov; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Andrew Osborn

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