Russia is considering acquiring a naval base in Cuba for maintenance purposes, the head of the Russian Navy recently stated.
According to a report from the Miami Herald, Vice Admiral Viktor Chirkov made those comments to Russian media. The Russian Navy at this time has two overseas bases, one in the Ukraine, and one in Syria.
“There is more than a bit of smoke and mirrors here. The nuisance value to show to the U.S. that the Russians still matter is much more important than any real naval interest,” Hal Klepak, a Canadian expert on the Cuban military, told Miami Herald reporter Juan O. Tamayo.
In 2001, Russia shut down bases in Cuba and Vietnam. However, since then, Russian President Vladimir Putin has become less friendly towards the United States.
Cuban leader Raul Castro visited Moscow earlier this month, and discussed issues of military cooperation.
However, the United States remains unconcerned.
“The Russian Navy is in no position to even show the flag effectively in the Americas, much less actually do power projection of any relevant kind,” Klepac told the Miami Herald.