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Old 11-06-2017, 09:09 AM
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Arrow Russia considers restoring its military base in Cuba

Russia considers restoring its military base in Cuba
Monday, November 6, 2017 11:00:08 AM - UAWIRE

The Russian military base in Cuba must be reestablished so that Russia can protect itself against the hostile actions of NATO and the US, said Frants Klintsevich, First Deputy Chairperson of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security.

“I believe that all efforts must be made, but our base – both naval and aviation – has to be in Cuba. This is a crucial aspect,” Interfax cites the senator as saying.

Klintsevich called the deployment of US anti-missile defense systems around Russia a hostile step which obliges Russia to protect itself. “We must also have similar responses, amongst other things,” he clarified.

“Our presence must be everywhere. I’m all for, and will even insist on, making significantly more effort in this regard than we have currently been doing,” the senator resumed. He added that he was only expressing his own opinion.

In April 2016, State Duma MPs Valery Rashkin and Sergey Obukhov from the Communist Party sent a proposal to President Putin, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu. The document suggested that the operation of the Lourdes center should be resumed, and that Russian missile systems should be deployed in Cuba. The MPs mentioned the US’s plans to deploy HIMARS missile launchers in South-Eastern Turkey.

The Defense Ministry later said that it would consider the possibility of reestablishing the military bases in the countries where they were deployed in Soviet times – Cuba and Vietnam. According to Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov, the military department is “dealing with this problem” and “sees this problem”.

Dmitry Peskov, Press Secretary to the Russian President, commented on this statement by saying that the international situation is changing, and that countries need to take the necessary measures according to their own interests. However, he diverted the specific question on the deployment of a Russian base in Cuba to the Defense Ministry.

The Russian signals intelligence station in Lourdes, a suburb of Havana, Cuba, was closed in 2001. Anatoly Kvashnin, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces at the time, said that the annual rent on the facility in Cuba was $200, enough to buy 20 reconnaissance and information satellites or roughly 100 modern radar units. President Vladimir Putin also said that it was too expensive to maintain the facility in Cuba.

In the 1960s, the Group of Soviet Forces in Cuba (GSFC) was created, later renamed the Group of Soviet Military Specialists in Cuba (GSMSC), which included a motorized rifle brigade, which was also later converted into the 12th Training Center. The brigade was taken off the island in 1991. In 1962, the deployment of Soviet missiles with nuclear warheads in Cuba caused relations with the US to deteriorate sharply. In the opinion of many researchers, the world was on the brink of a nuclear war. Eventually the USSR dismantled the launching facilities and withdrew its missiles from the island.

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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