Rosoboronexport , which is a subsidiary of Rusia’s Rostec State Corporation, announced that it opened a helicopter training center in Venezuela on March 29, reports RBC News agency. In this center, with the help of Russian specialists, Venezuelan pilots will received comprehensive training on flying the Mi-17V-5, Mi-35M and Mi-26T helicopters in close to reality conditions, “simulating various unusual situations that may arise during the flight”.
The company indicated that the staff of the center was also trained in Russia.
According to Rosoboronexport, the equipment supplied from Russia to Venezuela is used in operations against smugglers, for aerial surveys of forest fires, rescue and evacuation activities in disaster-affected regions, as well as in the humanitarian supplies deliveries to remote areas of the country.
Last weekend, it was reported that 99 Russian troops had arrived in Venezuela. Later, the authorities of Venezuela and Russia confirmed this information. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said that “military experts” arrived in the country to implement the provisions of the treaties on military-technical cooperation. According to her, they will stay there as long as "Venezuelan government needs them."
The Aide to the President of the Russian Federation, Yuri Ushakov, said that the military was sent to Venezuela "within the framework of normal relations with the legitimate government" of this country. The military attaché of the Venezuelan embassy in Moscow said that the Russian military is not expected to participate in any military operations in Venezuela.
US President Donald Trump demanded that Russia withdraw all of the soldiers and equipment that it sent to Venezuela on Saturday 23 March.
When asked to clarify how he intends to ensure that the Kremlin stops backing Maduro, Trump responded that “All options are open,” a phrase he previously used to indicate the possibility of US military intervention.
The US State Department called the arrival of Russian troops on Saturday a “senseless escalation”. “Russia has sent troops, although it has insisted itself that a military solution to the crisis in the Latin American country will not solve the problems,” an official spokesperson told Reuters.
“Moscow’s actions go against its own assertions and those of Maduro,” the US official stressed.