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Kremlin calls U.S. criticism of Russian military flights to Venezuela wrong

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov looks on during a visit to the Mazda Sollers Manufacturing Rus joint venture plant of Sollers and Japanese Mazda in Vladivostok, Russia September 10, 2018. Valery Sharifulin/TASS Host Photo Agency/Pool via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin on Tuesday rejected U.S. criticism of Russian military flights to Venezuela, saying it had been inappropriate and wrong for U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to condemn the flight of two nuclear-capable strategic bombers to Caracas.

Two Russian TU-160 strategic bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons landed in Venezuela on Monday in a symbolic show of support for the government there.

Pompeo condemned the deployment on Twitter.

“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,” Pompeo wrote.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call that Pompeo’s comments were undiplomatic and wrong.

“We consider it completely inappropriate,” said Peskov.

Reporting by Andrew Osborn and Gabrielle Tetrault-Farber; Editing by Tom Balmforth