US, Russia trade barbs over bomber deployment to Venezuela

Russia sends bombers to Venezuela, calls U.S. reaction

'Two corrupt governments': Mike Pompeo blasts Russia for sending strategic bombers to Venezuela

On December 10, two Russian Tu-160 strategic bombers carried out a flight from Russia to Venezuela, landing at the Simon Bolivar International Airport in the Venezuelan capital, flying a distance of over 10,000 kilometres (about 6,213 miles).

The United States is blasting Russian Federation for deploying two strategic bombers to Venezuela for war games.

"The Russian and Venezuelan people should see this for what it is: two corrupt governments squandering public funds, and squelching liberty and freedom while their people suffer", Pompeo said via Twitter.

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The Kremlin responded, with spokesperson Dmitry Peskov calling Pompeo's reaction "completely inappropriate", as reported by The Moscow Times. He told reporters Tuesday that such criticism sounds odd from a country "half of whose military budget would be enough to feed the whole of Africa".

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova attacked what she called U.S. "hysteria" over the planes. Colleagues: "you shouldn't stress out so much", she wrote on Facebook.

Maduro blames his country's problems on the United States and what he says is its support for the opposition.

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The ministry urged the United States to "count the money in its own pocket" instead of criticising Moscow's decisions, referring to the U.S. spending its "colossal military budget" on campaigns in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

Colombia will not let Venezuela make provocations with the assistance of Russian Federation, which recently sent its aircraft to Caracas, Colombian Defence Minister Guillermo Botero said.

The commander of Russia's strategic aircraft, General Sergei Kobylash, said the drills "will help us understand better how Venezuela's pilots are organized and trained".

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Their deployment came days after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, whose left-wing administration is the most significant USA foe in Latin America, held talks with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

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