Following recent US claims of covert Russian security assistance for President Nicolas Maduro, President Donald Trump tweeted yesterday that the Russian authorities said they had removed "most of their people" from Venezuela. US commentators are comparing Russia's engagement to its intervention in Syria and extensive financial commitments made by oil major Rosneft.
- Chinese exposure is less visible than Russia's but larger, with estimates of 60 billion dollars or more in loans since 2007.
- Other Russian actors appear cautious: banks will be wary of falling under US sanctions for dealing with PDVSA.
- A Russian pledge that a modern Kalashnikov rifle factory will launch this year seems optimistic.