Russian military forces deployed to Venezuela pose a “direct threat” to the United States and other Western Hemisphere nations, White House national security adviser John Bolton said.
“We strongly caution actors external to the Western Hemisphere against deploying military assets to Venezuela, or elsewhere in the Hemisphere, with the intent of establishing or expanding military operations,” Bolton said, according to the Washington Examiner.
“We will consider such provocative actions as a direct threat to international peace and security in the region.”
Bolton’s statement is the latest US rebuke of Moscow’s decision to send two planeloads of troops and military cargo to support Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
The planes left a Russian military base and arrived in Venezuela last week after stopping in Syria.
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday called on Russia to pull its troops from Venezuela and said that “all options” were open to make that happen.
A spokeswoman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, said the United States should pull troops from Syria before telling Moscow to withdraw from Venezuela.
Russia has bilateral relations and agreements with Venezuela and Maduro that it plans to honor, Russia’s deputy UN ambassador, Dmitry Polyanskiy, said on Twitter.