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Venezuelan parliament set to demand withdrawal of Russian military

Members of Venezuela's opposition-controlled parliament are set to demand the withdrawal of Russian military from the country, lawmaker Sirit Eliezer told a parliamentary session on Tuesday.

"We join lawmaker Marquina's demand that Juan Guaido [who declared himself Venezuela's acting president] as a commander in chief order those people, who trespassed on Venezuela's territory, to leave immediately," he said, adding that only the National Assembly (parliament) had the exclusive authority to invite foreign armed forces to the country's territory.

The El Comercio newspaper earlier reported that an Antonov An-124 and an Ilyushin Il-62 aircraft carrying Russian troops and 35 tonnes of cargo arrived in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas on March 23.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday Russian military specialists arrived to the country in strict compliance with the republic's constitution. "The Russian specialists' presence in Venezuela is regulated by an agreement between the Russian government and the government of Venezuela on military-technical cooperation signed in May 2001, which passed all ratification procedures in both countries in due time. No additional authorization by Venezuela's National Assembly is required for steps to develop bilateral military-technical cooperation taken within the framework of that agreement," she pointed out.

[Source: Itar Tass, Caracas, 27Mar19]

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