ST. PETERSBURG (AA) Russia does not plan to send military troops or build a military base in Venezuela, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.

“Russian military experts in Venezuela are in line with the contract which was signed earlier,” Putin told heads of international news agencies in St. Petersburg.

He was responding to a tweet by US President Donald Trump earlier this week that Moscow had informed Washington it had pulled out Russian personnel from Venezuela. Putin went on to say that all stakeholders should come together in Venezuela.

“Even the US allies do not support military intervention in Venezuela. Interference in internal affairs of other countries may cause serious and sometimes tragic results,” he added. Venezuela has been rocked by protests since January when President Nicolas Maduro was sworn in for a second term following a vote boycotted by the opposition.

Tensions escalated days later when Juan Guaido declared himself acting president, a move supported by the US and many European and Latin American countries. Putin also touched upon the US policy on Iran saying it was causing discord.