The Trump administration should make good on its own promise to pull troops out of Syria before telling others where they should or shouldn’t be, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in reply to Washington’s threat over Venezuela.
“Before they have their say in the lawful interests of other nations, I would advise the US administration to fulfill the promises that it had given to the international community,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, referring to US President Donald Trump’s pledge to get American troops out of Syria.
The US is behaving like a “cowboy in the Louvre,” undermining international order with its “chaotic moves and unpredictable behavior,” Zakharova said.
Zakharova is right. Before the US gets any say where any other country deploys its troops it should end its illegal presence on the territory of Syria. However Zakharova is wrong to say Trump must do so to “fulfill the promises given to the international community”.
Trump made no such promises, and wouldn’t care about breaking them if he did. Nor should he.
The problem with Empire’s presence in Syria is that it’s an occupation, not that Trump has promised to other states to end it, but hasn’t.
Zakharova would have done better to say that until the US ends its illegal troop deployments it has no standing to comment on other countrys’ legal ones.
That said, she did better later on, saying the Russian troops would stay in Venezuela “as long as needed” and reminding DC neither Russia nor Venezuela have lost their sovereignty yet:
“They [the up to 100 Russian troops] are involved in the implementation of agreements in the sphere of military and technical cooperation,” said ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, adding they would remain in the country “for as long as needed”.
“Russia is not changing the balance of power in the region, Russia is not threatening anyone unlike citizens in Washington whom I have just quoted,” she told reporters.
She was referring to Mr Trump’s comments that “Russia has to get out” of Venezuela as well as to statements by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Washington does not plan to negotiate with Mr Maduro and wants to end Russia and Cuba’s influence on Caracas.
“Neither Russia nor Venezuela are provinces of the United States,” Ms Zakharova said.