Russia says its troops and military experts in Venezuela are helping the Latin American state prepare itself and maintain its combat readiness in the face of the US military invasion and use of force to oust the elected leader Maduro.

The Venezuelan government has been in a state of anxious anticipation since the USA has repeatedly threatened to use force against the country.

In this file photo taken on February 1, 2017, Venezuelan soldiers drive a Russian-made tank during a military parade in Caracas. (Photo by AFP)

In these hostile conditions Venezuela needs to be sure that the weapons they have are in a functioning state.

Russian military experts are there to train the Venezuelans “in maintaining combat readiness of their equipment and teach them how best to use it.

The Russian envoy said the troops are legally allowed to be there under an agreement signed between the two countries in 2001.

Back in March, a Russian Air Force Antonov-124 cargo plane and a smaller Ilyushin Il-62 passenger jet  brought nearly 100 military personnel to Caracas.

US President Donald Trump says “Russia has to get out” of Venezuela and warned that “all options” were on the table to force Russia out of the region.

Russia has dismissed the US threats, defending its move in dispatching military “specialists” to Venezuela.

In recent months, tensions have increased between Caracas and Washington with the USA imposing sanctions on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro as well as his government employees.

In January, the USA took the lead in recognizing rebel leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s president after the head of the opposition-ruled Congress named himself the country’s interim chief executive.

A small number of renegade soldiers led by Guaido staged an attempted coup d’état against Maduro’s government last month. But the bid quickly failed, and many of the put-schists have taken shelter at foreign embassies in Caracas.

Moscow believes in a peaceful way of resolving the political crisis, through “dialogue and the search for compromise”.

Moscow welcomed mediation efforts undertaken by Norway, where both the Maduro government and the opposition sent delegations.

President Maduro declared the beginning of negotiations with the US-backed opposition in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, in an effort to resolve the political stalemate, but US-backed Guaido and an opposition “influenced by radicals” are stalling the dialogue in Venezuela.

PressTV / ABC Flash Point News 2019.

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