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Venezuela’s laws prohibit setup of foreign military bases, notes diplomat

MOSCOW, March 28. /TASS/. The setup of foreign military bases runs counter to Venezuela’s laws, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told the Echo Moskvy (or Echo of Moscow) radio station on Thursday, commenting on media reports about alleged plans to establish a Russian military base in Venezuela.

"I haven’t witnessed any discussions about our bases. I haven’t heard anyone speaking about it. I have never heard anyone discussing the possibility of setting up bases," she said.

"There is Venezuela’s legislation, which makes it clear what can and can’t be done, clarifies what kind of defense cooperation is possible and says that the country cannot host certain bases and troops," Zakharova added.

She pointed out that defense cooperation between Russia and Venezuela was based on bilateral agreements. Zakharova added that Russian specialists’ mission to Venezuela was part of defense cooperation. "This is not the first time we so this, many delegations have visited the country. But this time, there is too much frenzy," she noted.

According to the El Comercio newspaper, an Antonov An-124 and an Ilyushin Il-62 aircraft carrying Russian troops and 35 tonnes of equipment arrived in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas on March 23. Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido’s Spokesman Humberto Calderon Berti said later that it was the first step to the establishment of Russian military bases in the country.