Russia is Considering Reopening Cold War Outposts



Tensions between NATO and Russia are Re-Opening Old Wounds

(MOSCOW, RUSSIA) Russia is considering plans to restore military bases in Vietnam and Cuba that had served as pivots of Soviet global military power during the Cold War, Russian news agencies quoted Russian Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov as saying on Friday.

“We are dealing with this issue,” the agencies quoted Pankov as saying in Russia’s parliament.

Russia lowered its flag at the Lourdes signals intelligence base in Cuba and the deepwater Cam Rahn naval base in Vietnam in the early 2000s as part of a drawing down of Russia’s military presence around the world after the demise of the Soviet Union.

But since then, Moscow’s foreign policy has become more assertive, leading to tensions with the United States and its allies over, among other issues, the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, and the presence of NATO troops in eastern Europe.

Pankov said the Defense Ministry was currently “rethinking” past decisions on closure of the bases, but declined to go into detail. Vietnam’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment and Cuban officials were not available.

The United States is in the process of reviving its relations with Cuba, which in Soviet times had offered Moscow its closest military installation to U.S. territory, less than 100 miles (60 miles) from the Florida Keys.

“The global situation is not static, it is in flux, and the last two years have made significant changes to international affairs and security,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a conference call with reporters.

“Therefore, it’s quite natural that all countries assess these changes in line with their national interests and take certain steps in the way they consider appropriate.”

This latest escalation follows the threat issued by Russia Wednesday toshoot down any unidentified flying objects attempting to strike targets in Syria.

In May 2015, MP Dmitry Gorovtsov (Fair Russia) told RIA Novosti, “I think that in the nearest future we can restore the radio intelligence base in Lourdes that had been used first by the USSR and then by the Russian Federation.”

“Under conditions created on the international arena as a result of the US pressure and anti-Russian sanctions, cooperation with the Cuban Republic will develop in the direction of restoring the relations that our countries had up to mid-1980s,” Gorovtsov said.


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