Security & Strategic Review - March 2022

VENEZUELA-COLOMBIA: Alarm over military drift in Venezuela-Russia relations

With the world’s attention fixed on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the bolstering of Moscow’s military cooperation with Venezuela in February has heaped further strain on that country’s already hostile relationship with Colombia. Key to the Colombian government’s concern is its longstanding belief that its Venezuelan counterpart is supporting insurgent groups in Colombia. With a series of leaked Colombian intelligence reports indicating that the government is increasingly rattled by the direction of Russian-Venezuelan cooperation, President Iván Duque has reaffirmed his country’s reputation as the leading ally of the US and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in Latin America, summoning Moscow’s ambassador to explain the presence of Russian troops in Venezuela and criticising the governments of both countries during a 14 February meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

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