MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia's Foreign Ministry says that Russian military personnel that arrived in Venezuela over the weekend has every right to be there.
The rift between Russia and the United States over how to resolve the crisis in Venezuela widened following the arrival of Russian military personnel to support Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro over the weekend.
In Moscow's first comment on the reports of the deployment, foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement late on Tuesday that Russia has sent personnel "in strict accordance" with the Venezuelan constitution and a bilateral agreement on military cooperation. She did not elaborate on how many troops Russia has sent.
Venezuela's political crisis exacerbated after opposition leader Juan Guaido claimed interim presidency with the support of dozens of nations.