Pentagon chief dismisses Russian assurances on Venezuela

TAMPA, Florida (Reuters) – Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan dismissed Russian assurances on Thursday that its troops in Venezuela posed no security threat, saying: “I’m not sure I always believe what they say.”

Russia said earlier in the day it had sent “specialists” to Venezuela under a military cooperation deal but said they posed no threat to regional stability, brushing aside a call from U.S. President Donald Trump to remove all military personnel from the country.

Shanahan, speaking to a small group of reporters in Florida, did not elaborate on what he thought the Russian forces were doing in Venezuela.

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