US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Russia is interfering in the affairs of Venezuela and is there without the permission of the authorities.
“Russia intervened. They went against the leadership of the country of Venezuela. They intervened without authority. They don’t have the consent of the Venezuelan people to be there. They’re there as a hostile power,” Pompeo said in an interview with Andrea Aristegui of Mega TV.
Pompeo said that the leader of Venezuela is Juan Guaidó, and Nicolas Maduro is already a former leader.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier that Russian military experts are in Venezuela legally, providing service for military equipment delivered to the Latin American country.
In Venezuela on January 21 mass protests began against President Nicolas Maduro, soon after he was sworn in. President of the National Assembly of Venezuela Juan Guaidó illegally proclaimed himself the interim head of state.
A number of Western countries, led by the United States, have recognized the recognition of Guaidó. Maduro called the head of parliament a puppet of the United States. Russia, China, Turkey and a number of other countries supported Maduro as a legitimate president.