Guyana not ‘unduly concerned’ about Russian bombers in Venezuela


The Guyana Government is not unduly concerned about the military exercise in Venezuela which involves the use of Russian bombersForeign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge said Wednesday.

“It needs to be noted that Venezuela, like Guyana, have a right to conduct such an exercise; bearing in mind any sensitives or any problems, we don’t, as a rule, have any difficulty with Venezuela carrying out military activities and would say they have that right,” Greenidge told the News Room at Public Buildings where he was attending the sitting of the National Assembly. 

Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge

Two Russian bombers landed on Monday for what Venezuela said was exercises with its friends, because it has friends in the world “who defend respectful, balanced relations.”

The move has prompted a diplomatic row, with the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying it amounted to “two corrupt governments squandering public funds”; the Russians said the statement was “completely inappropriate”.

The Venezuelan Defence Minister said the long-range bombers – and two other Russian planes – are part of air force exercises with its Russian allies, but Minister Greenidge said Guyana was aware that naval equipment was also involved.

“I wouldn’t expect the joint exercise would involve Guyana’s territory and I am not aware, as I reflect on such exercises, that they have ever crossed over into our territory and I don’t expect that to change.”

Minister Greenidge said that Guyana was not unduly concerned about Venezuela carrying out any overtures on Guyana’s territory. He was confident that Russia, and others involved in the supply of military equipment to Venezuela, would also respect the country’s sovereignty and borders.

“As regards Russia in particular, we have good relations with Russia and would not expect them to omit the considerations as regards international law,” Greenidge stated.

Minister Greenidge also noted that while Guyana is currently seeking a legally binding resolution to the longstanding border controversy with Venezuela at the International Court of Justice, it was willing to work with Venezuela on other matters of common interest.

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