Putin Ally Backs China, Says U.S. Was Wrong to Shoot Down Spy Balloon

Venezuela, an ally of Russia, voiced its support for China by condemning the U.S. "attack" on the Chinese spy balloon last week.

"The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela rejects the attack by the United States against an unmanned aircraft of Chinese origin of a civilian nature that had shown a technical failure and that did not pose any military or physical threat to persons on the ground," Venezuelan Foreign Minister Yvan Gil Pinto said in a translated statement Sunday.

He said the United States resorted to "the use of force" instead of treating the situation "with the seriousness and responsibility that the case deserves."

The balloon was spotted flying over the United States last week. It was shot down over the weekend off the coast of South Carolina after the Pentagon said it was a surveillance balloon that violated U.S. airspace.

Pinto added that Venezuela is committed to the values of the United Nations Charter and its "adherence to dialogue for the peaceful resolution of conflicts and healthy coexistence among nations and peoples."

"All disputes must be resolved responsibly and in accordance with international law," he wrote in a tweet, according to an English translation.

Last week, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the balloon was a civilian airship used to monitor the weather.

"Affected by the Westerlies and with limited self-steering capability, the airship deviated far from its planned course," spokesperson Mao Ning said. "The Chinese side regrets the unintended entry of the airship into U.S. airspace due to force majeure."

Venezuela China Balloon
Above, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro holds a small copy of the Venezuelan Constitution as he delivers a speech to magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice during the inauguration ceremony of the judicial year in Caracas, Venezuela, on January 31. Venezuela has condemned the United States for its "use of force" against the Chinese spy balloon last week. Yuri CORTEZ/AFP via Getty Images

Mao said China has "no intention" of violating U.S. airspace or international law.

"China is a responsible country and always acts in strict accordance with international law," she said.

A second Chinese balloon has been spotted over Latin America in what China deemed another "mistake."

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is a staunch ally of both China and Russia.

During his annual speech to the country's parliament last month, Maduro said he wanted to create a bloc uniting Latin America with the economic and political forces of Russia and China to create "new poles of power."

Maduro added the alliance would comprise "that community of shared destiny that our elder brother President Xi Jinping talks about" or "that multipolar and multicentric world that our elder brother President Vladimir Putin talks about," Russian state media outlet RT reported.