Russia to revive army bases in
Published in pravda.ru on August 1, 2012
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The Russian government intends to
restore the military-technical support of their ships at the former
military base in Cam Ranh (Vietnam), Lourdes (Cuba) and the Seychelles.
So far, this is not about plans for a military presence, but rather the
restoration of the crew resources. However, a solid contractual basis
should be developed for these plans.
The intentions were announced on July 27 by the Russian Navy Commander
Vice Admiral Viktor Chirkov. “At the
international level, the creation of logistics points in Cuba, the
Seychelles and Vietnam is being worked out”, Chirkov
was quoted by the media. The issue was specifically discussed at the
meeting with the leaders of all countries. President of Vietnam Truong
Tan Sang has recently held talks with Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev in
Moscow and President Putin in Sochi. Cuban leader Raul Castro met with
Putin in Moscow earlier this month. A little earlier the President of
the Republic of Seychelles, James Michel made an unequivocal statement.
“We will give Russia the benefits in
Cam Ranh, including the development of military cooperation”,
the President of Vietnam told the media. Cuba that has an American
military base in Guantanamo Bay and is protesting against the
deployment of new U.S. bases in Colombia, of course, wants to acquire
an ally in Russia to be able to contain the United States. Seychelles
in the Indian Ocean has always been in the zone of Soviet influence. In
1981, the Soviet Navy helped the government to prevent the military
coup and before the collapse of the USSR the Soviets had a constant
presence in the area. In June of 2012, at the opening of an Orthodox
church in the capital city of Victoria, James Michel spoke of Russia's
role in combating piracy and supported the Russian idea to build a pier
in the port of Victoria, designed for the reception of the Navy
warships of Russian Federation.
Following the statement by Vice-Admiral, Russian Foreign Ministry and
Defense Ministry made it clear that they were talking about rest and
replenishment of the crews after the campaign in the area and not
military bases. It is clear, however, that Russian warships could do
both without special arrangements, given the good attitudes of the
leaders of these countries toward Russia. It can be assumed that the
Russian Admiral unwittingly gave away far-reaching plans of the Russian
leadership. That would be great, because from the time of Peter the
Great, Russia had a strong fleet and army. In addition, it is worth
mentioning Putin's statement
at the G20 meeting in June. After the
meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama, Putin made a sudden harsh
statement to the press.
“In 2001 I, as the President of the
Russian Federation and the supreme commander, deemed it advantageous to
withdraw the radio-electronic center Lourdes from Cuba. In exchange for
this, George Bush, the then U.S. president, has assured me that this
decision would become the final confirmation that the Cold War was over
and both of our states, getting rid of the relics of the Cold War, will
start building a new relationship based on cooperation and
transparency. In particular, Bush has convinced me that the U.S.
missile defense system will never be deployed in Eastern Europe.
The Russian Federation has fulfilled
all terms of the agreement. And even more. I shut down not only the
Cuban Lourdes but also Kamran in Vietnam. I shut them down because I
gave my word of honor. I, like a man, has kept my word. What have the
Americans done? The
Americans are not responsible for their own words. It is no secret that
in recent years, the U.S. created a buffer zone around Russia,
involving in this process not only the countries of Central Europe, but
also the Baltic states, Ukraine and the Caucasus. The only response to
this could be an asymmetric expansion of the Russian military presence
abroad, particularly in Cuba.
In Cuba, there are convenient bays for our reconnaissance and warships,
a network of the so-called "jump airfields". With
the full consent of the Cuban leadership, on May 11 of this year ,
country has not only resumed work in the electronic center of Lourdes,
but also placed the latest mobile strategic nuclear missiles "Oak" on
the island. They did not want
to do it the amicable way, now let them deal with this”, Putin
It is obvious that Russia will not stop simply at "resting" their
sailors in the area. Now back to the statement of Chirkov. Americans
have not officially resented it. For example, the Pentagon spokesman
George Little said that Russia had the right to enter into military
agreements and relationships with other countries, as does the United
States, according to France Press Agency. The reason is simple:
American analysts believe that Russia now cannot afford to create its
own military bases.
The Americans talk about Russia's lack of influence, money and the
actual fleet. Western media quoted an “independent
expert on the defense” in Moscow Paul Fengelgauer. He said that
Russia does not have the necessary naval resources to provide constant
presence outside its territorial waters, as it has only 30 major
warships that serve five fleets. Therefore, the possibility of placing
an additional station does not mean the expansion of sea power in
Russia. This is largely an objective assessment. But since the crisis
in the West in 2008, Russia began to recover part of its navy. The loss
was not that great - about a quarter of the Soviet reserve. Another
thing is that we should talk about the modernization of the fleet.
There is much to maintain. On Thursday, Chirkov said that this year
Russia's naval forces can be replenished with another 10-15 warships,
including destroyers and nuclear submarines.
As for the influence, judging by the words of the Russian President,
Russia is also actively growing in this regard, although work in this
direction has only begun. As we can see, Pacific, Atlantic and Indian
Oceans are involved. This is due not only to geopolitical reasons, but
the growing economic presence of Russia in the regions. For example,
"Gazprom" is actively working on offshore Vietnam. In the Caribbean, it
also participates in the construction of Meso-American pipeline and
field development in Venezuela. An ammunition plant is under
construction in Cuba.
However, one should start with a solid contractual basis. Take, for
example, agreements on mutual defense that the U.S. has with the
Philippines, Japan, Colombia, and Mexico. In the presence of such
agreements military bases cannot be challenged as a military expansion.
Russia has room to grow - of the 16 operating in the Soviet era
military bases today there is only one left - Tartus in Syria, or two,
if we consider the base in Sevastopol.
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(2) In the Pravda site,
the author is reported as Dmitry Sudakov at the header and Lyuba Lulko
at the foot. Given such an ambiguity, we have not identified the author
at the header of this copy.
(3) The title image
(Putin shaking hands) is from the source. Description (not in the
source): Putin is shaking hands with Vietnam President Truong Tan Sang.
The identification of the man on the left as Truong
Tan Sang can be verified through this sources: Source
3. The flag in the background is the flag of
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