Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 15 November 2019

Russian air force plane spotted in Venezuela

Two Russian aircraft landed in the struggling South American nation in March, causing friction between Moscow and Washington

Venezuelan Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino is pictured after the arrival of two Russian Tupolev Tu-160 strategic long-range heavy supersonic bomber aircrafts at Maiquetia International Airport in March 2019. AFP
Venezuelan Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino is pictured after the arrival of two Russian Tupolev Tu-160 strategic long-range heavy supersonic bomber aircrafts at Maiquetia International Airport in March 2019. AFP

A Russian air force plane was seen on Monday in Venezuela’s main airport, three months after a similar arrival spurred a war of words between Washington and Moscow.

Two Russian air force planes landed in Venezuela in March carrying defence officials and 100 troops, leading the US to accuse Russia of “reckless escalation” of the situation in the struggling South American nation.

An Ilyushin 62 jet with tail number RA-86496 on Monday was parked at Maiquetia International Airport, a witness said.

That number is registered to a Russian Air Force jet and is the same as one of the planes that arrived in March, the website Flightradar24 said.

US President Donald Trump in March ordered Russia to remove all troops from Venezuela, while Russia’s Foreign Ministry said the planes were carrying specialists who were servicing arms sales contracts.

Venezuela’s Information Ministry and Russia’s Defence Ministry did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

Updated: June 25, 2019 01:31 AM

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