MOSCOW (AFP) — Military exercises due to be held by Russian and Venezuelan navy are not aimed against the United States, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview published Tuesday.
"Russia and Venezuela have no plans of attacking anybody, they cooperate on the basis of international law," Lavrov told the state Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily, slamming "hypothetical scenarios of unimaginable attacks on the United States".
"Among the US leadership and that of several other countries that chose absolute loyalty to Washington's way of thinking, the geopolitical ideology of doing everything possible to rein in Russia prevails," the minister deplored.
A fleet of Russian warships, led by the nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky, are due to take part in joint exercises next month with the Venezuelan navy near US waters, something which has not been done since the Cold War.
The deployment follows the arrival of two Russian Tu-160 nuclear bombers in Venezuela last month also for exercises, an event that Chavez branded a "warning" to the US "empire."
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