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Lavrov says US applies twisted logic to Russian military personnel in Venezuela

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said earlier the Russian specialists had arrived in Venezuela in strict compliance with the country’s Constitution

VLADIVOSTOK, April 21. /TASS/. The United States uses twisted logic when it accuses Russia of sending military specialists to do hardware maintenance in Venezuela at a time when Ukraine is crowded with military servicemen from NATO countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the TV channel Zvezda interviewer Olga Belova.

"There have been demands not a single Russian military serviceman should be left in Venezuela, because this is the wish of the United States, and no country located outside the Western Hemisphere has the right to be present there," he said. "Our explanations the Russian military personnel are there under a contract for repairs and maintenance of military equipment, provided quite legally back in the 2000s, are just ignored. In the meantime, nobody mentions the fact US military and other NATO personnel - from Britain and Canada - have crowded Ukraine."

"Apparently, they follow the rule Quod licet Jovi, non licet bovi (What is permissible for Jove is not permissible for a bull)," Lavrov said. "This is a very twisted logic. It will not help our US counterparts. I do hope that they will understand this someday."

He stressed the fact that the United States conducted a dialogue with Russia on issues that were of interest to it and that it was unable to handle on its own, just as it was the case with Afghanistan and with the Korean Peninsula’s nuclear problem. "By and large the policy towards Russia stems exclusively from the wish to make us agree to unilateral domination and abandon the principles of international law," he added.

Earlier, the daily El Comercio said two Russian planes - an Antonov-124 and Ilyushin-62 carrying Russian military personnel and 35 tonnes of cargo - arrived at Caracas airport on March 23. Their arrival was confirmed by the President of Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly Diosdado Cabello.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a commentary the Russian specialists had arrived in Venezuela in strict compliance with the country’s Constitution. Zakharova said the stay of Russian specialists in Venezuela was governed by the agreement between the Russian and Venezuelan governments on military-technical cooperation concluded in May 2001 and properly ratified in both countries.