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Kremlin scoffs at US criticism of bombers in Venezuela

December 11, 2018 GMT
FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2005 file photo, a supersonic Tu-160 strategic bomber with Russian President Vladimir Putin aboard flies above an airfield near the northern city of Murmansk. The Russian military says two of its nuclear-capable strategic bombers have arrived in Venezuela, a deployment that comes amid soaring Russia-U.S. tensions. (Alexei Panov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)
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FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2005 file photo, a supersonic Tu-160 strategic bomber with Russian President Vladimir Putin aboard flies above an airfield near the northern city of Murmansk. The Russian military says two of its nuclear-capable strategic bombers have arrived in Venezuela, a deployment that comes amid soaring Russia-U.S. tensions. (Alexei Panov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)
1 of 2
FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2005 file photo, a supersonic Tu-160 strategic bomber with Russian President Vladimir Putin aboard flies above an airfield near the northern city of Murmansk. The Russian military says two of its nuclear-capable strategic bombers have arrived in Venezuela, a deployment that comes amid soaring Russia-U.S. tensions. (Alexei Panov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)

MOSCOW (AP) — The Kremlin has rejected U.S. criticism of Russian strategic bombers’ deployment to Venezuela.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded to Monday’s arrival of a pair of Tu-160 nuclear-capable bombers in Venezuela by tweeting that “the Russian and Venezuelan people should see this for what it is: two corrupt governments squandering public funds, and squelching liberty and freedom while their people suffer.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, dismissed Pompeo’s comment as “undiplomatic” and “inappropriate.” He told reporters Tuesday that such criticism sounds odd from a country “half of whose military budget would be enough to feed the whole of Africa.”

Russian-U.S. ties have sunk to post-Cold War lows over Ukraine, the war in Syria and allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.