Published: Sun, December 16, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Moscow Says Strategic Bombers Return To Russia After Stay In Venezuela

Moscow Says Strategic Bombers Return To Russia After Stay In Venezuela

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu said two the bomber planes were accompanied by two fighter planes, but did not indicate whether the planes were armed or not.

"In certain parts of the route, the flight of Russian bombers was conducted together with Su-30 and F-16 fighter jets of the Venezuelan National Bolivarian Military Aviation", the ministry said in a statement. The Tu-160 is capable of carrying conventional or nuclear-tipped cruise missiles with a range of 5,500km. Such bombers took part in Russia's campaign in Syria, where they launched conventionally-armed Kh-101 cruise missiles for the first time in combat. Code-named Blackjack by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the massive warplane is capable of flying at a speed twice exceeding the speed of sound. Russian Federation sent the Tu-160, which is capable of carrying nuclear weapons, to Syria during its recent civil war. Russian Ambassador to Venezuela Vladimir Zaemsky said on Monday that military-technical cooperation between Moscow and Caracas has been developing very actively of late.

Young was asked about TT's close relationship with the U.S. and Venezuela and the gas deal signed with the latter country and whether the military presence of Russian Federation would concern the TT Government.

Russian defense officials say strategic bombers flew over the Caribbean Sea for about 10 hours this week, prompting concerns from other countries in the region.

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In an emailed statement, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed that the bombers, which became the subject of dispute between Russian and US officials earlier this week, would return home Friday. A pair of Tu-160s also visited Venezuela in 2013.

Russia-US relations have reached a low point because of the allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election on behalf of Donald Trump. The U.S.is sensitive to South America and doesn't welcome Russian Federation or other countries to get close to the region. Asked about the Russian bombers, Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning said he had no specific information about the deployment. However, Manning cited the humanitarian assistance provided in Central and South American by a U.S. Navy hospital ship, the USNS Comfort, in the past eight weeks. Numerous Venezuelan migrants were among the people who received medical and dental treatment.

Maduro on Sunday warned of an effort "directly coordinated from the White House to disturb democratic life in Venezuela" and a possible "coup" against the government.

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