June 24, 2019 3:25 pm

Russian air force jet spotted at Venezuela airport

WATCH: A Russian air force plane landed at Venezuela’s main airport.


A Russian air force plane landed on Monday in Venezuela’s main airport, according to a Reuters witness and a website that tracks plane movements, three months after a similar arrival spurred a war of words between Washington and Moscow.

READ MORE: Why Russia wants Nicolas Maduro to stay in charge of Venezuela

Two Russian air force planes landed in Venezuela in March carrying Russian defence officials and 100 troops, leading the United States to accuse Russia of “reckless escalation” of the situation in the struggling South American nation.

WATCH: Mysterious Russian plane flies home from Venezuela in January

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An Ilyushin 62 jet with tail number RA-86496 on Monday was parked at Maiquetia International Airport, according to a Reuters witness.

That tail number is registered to a Russian Air Force jet, according to website Flightradar24, and matches the tail number of the plane that arrived in March.

READ MORE: Russia sent private military contractors to Venezuela to guard Maduro: sources

U.S. President Donald Trump in March ordered Russia to remove all troops from Venezuela, while Russia’s foreign ministry said the planes were only carrying specialists who were servicing arms sales contracts.

Venezuela’s information ministry and Russia’s defence ministry did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

© 2019 Reuters

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