Mike Pompeo urges Russia to cease ‘unconstructive behavior’ in Venezuela

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Russia to “cease its unconstructive behavior” in Venezuela. (AFP/File Photo)
Updated 25 March 2019
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Mike Pompeo urges Russia to cease ‘unconstructive behavior’ in Venezuela

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Russia on Monday the US will not "stand idly by" as Moscow inserts military personnel into Venezuela to support the regime of President Nicolas Maduro.
In a phone call with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Pompeo denounced the growing Russian military reinforcements as prolonging the political crisis in the South American country.
Pompeo told Lavrov that "the United States and regional countries will not stand idly by as Russia exacerbates tensions in Venezuela," the State Department said in a statement.
"The continued insertion of Russian military personnel to support the illegitimate regime of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela risks prolonging the suffering of the Venezuelan people who overwhelmingly support interim President Juan Guaido," he said.
Guaido is supported by the United States and most Latin American and European nations but he retains the support of Russia and China, US rivals who have offered political and economic support to him.
Pompeo urged Russia to "cease its unconstructive behavior" and support Guaido.


Loud explosion, gunfire rock downtown Kabul

Updated 2 min 28 sec ago
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Loud explosion, gunfire rock downtown Kabul

  • Sporadic fires and an explosion were heard near the communication ministry in Kabul

KABUL: A loud explosion and gunfire was heard in central Kabul on Saturday, in a blast Afghan officials said occurred near the communication ministry.
“Around 11:40 am (0710 GMT) an explosion heard near the communication ministry, and sporadic fires have also been heard in the area,” said interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi.
The communication ministry is located in downtown Kabul, about two kilometers (1.25 miles) from the green zone.