Russian Air Force deploys Tu-160 bombers to Venezuela

A group of four Russian military aircraft landed Tuesday in the Maiquetia Simon Bolivar International airport of Venezuela, the Russian Defense Ministry said Tuesday.

Russian Air Force deploys Tu 160 bombers land to Venezuela 001 One of the two Tu-160 which landed in Venezuela on Tuesday
(Credit: Sputnik)

The group included two Tu-160 strategic missile-carriers, a heavy An-124 military transport aircraft and an IL-62 long-range aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces, it said in a statement.

The group covered a distance of more than 10,000 kilometers, it said, adding that at certain stages of the route, the group was escorted by the F-16 fighters of the Norwegian Air Force.

The Russian crews were met by the Minister of Defense of Venezuela Vladimir Padrino Lopez and representatives of the Russian embassy in Caracas.

The flight was carried out in strict accordance with the International Airspace Use Regulations, the ministry said without commenting on its purpose.

On Wednesday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro visited Russia and met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

On the same day, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu met Padrino to discuss bilateral military technical cooperation, the Russian Defense Ministry said on its website.

During the meeting, Shoigu said he expected that the practice of flights of Russian military "aircraft to Venezuela's airfields would continue, and the ships of the Russian Navy would be able to call at the ports of that country," according to the ministry.