EspañolRussia’s Deputy Defense Viceminister, Nikolái Pankov, revealed on Friday, October 7, that the Putin administration is considering reopening military bases in remote places such as Cuba and Vietnam.
Pankov gave the announcement of the Russian military’s plans to return to Cuba and Vietnam during a hearing in Congress. “We are working on this,” he told a Duma legislator who questioned him on the matter.
A Russian congressman from the ruling party commented in support of the idea: “If [Western nations] don’t want to use diplomatic means with us, we will fight this threat to peace,” he said regarding the possibility of Russian troops returning to foreign bases to fight ISIS, “a neofascist organization,” and “all its enablers.”
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Questioned by Russian reporters, Kremlin’s press secretary refused to elaborate on Pankov’s statement.
Russia operated a military base in Cuba’s Lourdes, close to the capital Havana, between 1967 and 2001. At one point it became the largest intelligence hub for electronic communications outside Russian soil.
Russian media has been speculating about a return to Cuba since July 2014 based on Kremlin sources. However, President Vladimir Putin himself denied the rumors that year.
In October, Defense Minister Serguéi Shoigú announced that Russia would seek to restore military presence in Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, and suggested a network of Russian military bases including Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Seychelles, and Singapur.