"We will continue to implement projects in various areas, to hold events within the existing agreements that would strengthen the military potential of this country’s armed forces."
Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov stated on Friday that his country will continue to develop international cooperation with Venezuela, which includes strengthening military defense capabilities.
"We will continue our multifaceted efforts on developing partner relations with brotherly Venezuela," Ryabkov said while attending an event honouring the 208th anniversary of the South American country's independence from Spain."We will continue to implement projects in various areas, to hold events within the existing agreements that would strengthen the military potential of this country’s armed forces."
The Russian minister rejected the speculative reports about the Russian military personnel in Venezuela and held that they are technical specialists responsible for the maintenance of equipment. Nevertheless, he said that his country is determined to counter any attempt to destabilize the situation in Venezuela.
Ryabkov "stressed the U.S. keeps on devising ways to further destabilise the situation in the country... their efforts fail due to public support for the legitimately elected authorities," Sputnik reported.
Riabkov also announced that he will address bilateral cooperation issues during his next visit to Venezuela, which will take place between July 20 and 22.
In addition to bilateral meetings with top-level officials, Riabkov will take part in the ministerial meeting of the Coordination Bureau of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, a multilateral organization in which Russia acts as permanent observer.
The U.S. President Donald Trump has criticized the cooperation for development that Russia offers in Venezuela. Trump considers it as part of a military expansion strategy.
He warned that Russia had to leave Venezuela on March, when two planes with about 100 military specialist landed near Caracas for what Moscow described as a mission to maintain equipment supplied to the Bolivarian country.
During a recent meeting with international news agencies, however, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that his country "is not creating any [military] base, nor bringing troops there."