Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza gestures while speaking during a joint news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov followed their talks in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, May 5, 2019. Lavrov meets with his Venezuelan counterpart on Sunday, a day before Lavrov is to meet the US secretary of state amid growing tensions over the Venezuela crisis. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Venezuelan FM: Russian military presence could be expanded

May 06, 2019 - 4:32 am

MOSCOW (AP) — Venezuela's foreign minister says the country may expand the presence of Russian military specialists there, as Moscow and Washington accuse each other of interfering in the country's crisis.

Russia has had deep military cooperation with Venezuela over the years, including supplying weapons and aircraft. It sent military advisers to the troubled South American nation this year as tensions grew over opposition leader Juan Guaido's attempts to oust President Nicolas Maduro.

The United States recognizes Guaido as interim president.

Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza spoke in Moscow on Monday, a day after meeting Russia's top diplomat Sergey Lavrov, who is to meet U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later in the day.

Arreaza told reporters "at present, there is a commission of (Russian) specialists in Venezuela, it could be expanded."