US president makes demand while hosting Fabiana Rosales, wife of opposition leader Juan Guaido, at the White House.
US President Donald Trump has called on Russia to pull its troops from Venezuela and warned “all options” were open to making that happen.
The arrival of two Russian air force planes carrying nearly 100 Russian troops outside Caracas on Saturday has escalated the political crisis in Venezuela.
Russia and China have backed President Nicolas Maduro, while the United States and most Western countries support opposition leader Juan Guaido. In January, Guaido invoked the constitution to declare himself interim president, arguing Maduro’s 2018 re-election was illegitimate.
The US government says the Russian troops include special forces and cybersecurity personnel.
“They’ve got a lot of pressure right now. They have no money, they have no oil, they have no nothing. They’ve got plenty of pressure right now. They have no electricity,” Trump said.
“Other than military, you can’t get any more pressure than they have… All options are open,” he added.
Russia has bilateral relations and agreements with Venezuela, which it plans to honour, Russian Deputy UN Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy said, in response to Trump’s comments.
“It’s not up to US to decide actions and fate of other countries. It’s only up to the people of Venezuela and its only legitimate President Nicolas Maduro,” Polyanskiy said on Twitter.
It’s not up to US to decide actions and fate of other countries. It’s only up to the people of #Venezuela and its only legitimate president Nicolas #Maduro. We have bilateral relations and agreements with this country which we will honor. #HandsOffVenezuela #YankeeGoHome https://t.co/5uNMZu5EH1
— Dmitry Polyanskiy (@Dpol_un) March 27, 2019