Mike Pompeo is in no position to claim that sending two tu-160 supersonic strategic bombers to Venezuela was a “squandering” of public funds, Moscow countered, saying half of the US military budget is enough “to support all of Africa.”
The US Secretary of State produced a lengthy tirade on Twitter on Tuesday, claiming the arrival of two Russian Tu-160 bombers was an example of “two corrupt governments squandering public funds, and squelching liberty and freedom while their people suffer.” Later in the day, the remark was met with a sharp rebuke from the Kremlin.
“This is indeed very undiplomatic,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists, adding, “we think it was an utterly inappropriate comment.” US President Donald Trump might “give his own assessment” of Pompeo’s statement as he did in the past, he said. “As far as the ‘squandering’ is concerned, we don’t agree with that,” Peskov stated, noting that half of the bulky US military budget “would be enough to support all of Africa.”
The exchange happened a day after a pair of Tu-160s touched down at Venezuela’s Simon Bolivar International Airport on Monday. The bombers, nicknamed the ‘White Swans’ in the Russian military, had flown over 10,000 kilometers to reach the South American country. Their visit was part of “combined operational flights” with the Venezuelan Air Force, according to the Russian military.
That aside, it has recently emerged that Donald Trump has committed to a $750bn military budget, despite earlier labeling the $716bn previously allocated for defense ‘crazy’.