Moscow / Washington – Two Russian bombers have landed in Venezuela, amid rising tensions between the United States and Russia over various issues including the Syrian crisis, the Ukraine dispute and the Nord Stream gas pipeline. Russia has claimed that it has deployed the bombers as a step towards the security of Venezuela among the other things. At the same time, as the bombers were landing in Venezuela, the United States Air Force conducted a war exercise in the state of Nevada simulating a forcible entry manoeuvre for dropping off the ground forces into enemy territory.
US President Donald Trump had expressed willingness to hold talks with the Russian President Vladimir Putin to defuse tensions between the two countries. They were expected to hold discussions on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Argentina. However, just before the talks, Russia detained Ukrainian ships in the Sea of Azov. Criticising the act, Trump refused to meet with Putin. Just as the United States began slamming the aggressive Russian activities in Syria and Ukraine, the Russian bombers landed in Venezuela at the Bolivar Airport.
Two Russian supersonic Tu-160 bombers along with heavy transport aircraft of the Russian army namely, An-124 and Il-62, landed in Venezuela. The Russian planes had travelled more than 10,000 kilometres crossing the Norwegian Sea, the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Russia said that the bombers were sent to Venezuela to participate in joint air exercises with the Venezuelan Air Force. Nevertheless, Venezuelan Defence Minister Vladimir Lopez noted that the planes were deployed in Venezuela to assure the air security of the country through the air force exercises.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has objected to the deployment of the Russian bombers in Venezuela. ‘Two corrupt governments squandering public funds and squelching liberty and freedom of their people,’ Pompeo criticised. However, the Russian Presidential Spokesman, Dmitry Peskov has dismissed the US allegations.
Meanwhile, the military aircrafts C-17 Globemaster III and C-130 Hercules of the US Air Force held massive exercises in Nevada. The drills named ‘Joint Forcible Entry Exercise’ (JFEX) saw the participation of a minimum of 10 aircraft. The exercises simulated war scenario for dropping off the military forces into the enemy territory and taking further actions. The United States has claimed that the exercises are held annually. Albeit, the drills conducted at a time when the Russian bombers had landed in Venezuela, assumes significance.