Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks with military commanders during a meeting, in Caracas, Venezuela June 3, 2019.
MOSCOW, June 4 (Xinhua) -- The statement by U.S. President Donald Trump about Russia notifying him that it had withdrawn its staff from Venezuela is a fake, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday.
"This is obvious to me," Lavrov said, answering a question by the RBC news agency if the Trump's statement was a fake, according to an official transcript of an excerpt from the interview posted on the Russian Foreign Ministry's web site.
On Monday, Trump tweeted that Russia informed him it had removed most of its people from Venezuela.
"We have not notified anyone," Lavrov said.
He said he was surprised when he read Trump's tweet, adding the U.S. president apparently read a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, which mentioned "thousands of Russian specialists" had been removed from Venezuela.
Lavrov said that Russia had never concealed the fact that its experts were involved in servicing the equipment supplied to Venezuela under legitimate contracts signed many years ago.
However, only 95 experts were mentioned recently, who flew to Caracas and carried out maintenance work as part of Moscow's obligations under these contracts, he said.
He added that Trump's tweet "raises questions about the quality of those advisers who put information on the table for the U.S. president."