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Russia May Put Troops in Venezuela and Cuba if US Tensions Continue

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who headed Jan. 10’s talks with U.S. officials in Geneva, said he could neither “confirm nor exclude” the possibility of a Russian military build-up within the borders of Cuba and Venezuela if tensions continue with the United States over Ukraine. Ryabkov’s statement adds pressure to existing tensions with the West over the presence of Russian troops near the Ukraine border, which prompted a high stakes meeting with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on Jan. 12 in Vienna. Putin’s government demanded a cessation of NATO’s expansion, which was promptly rejected by the United States and its Western allies. In a televised interview, Ryabkov said, “It all depends on the actions by our U.S. counterparts,” referencing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s warning that Moscow was willing to take countermeasures if the United States challenged the Kremlin and added military pressure. A spokesperson for the U.S. State Department told The …

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