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Cuban crisis 2.0? Moscow eyes military bases in Cuba after US INF pullout

Oct 312018

Moscow’s response to Trump’s plans to quit the INF treaty could be to reinstall military bases in Cuba, the State Duma defense committee head said. He also predicted “a new Cuban crisis” if the US and Russia fail to come to terms.

 

The US is planning to walk away from the crucial Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, and Russia’s response may well be in the spirit of those times – namely, reactivating military facilities in Cuba. That is according to Vladimir Shamanov, the head of the State Duma defense committee and a former Airborne Troops commander.

 

 

 

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Indeed, the Cuban government has to allow the Russian military back, and this is more about politics than defense issues, Shamanov speculated.

 

 

This issue may be raised when Cuba’s new president, Miguel Diaz-Canel, visits Russia in early November. Diaz-Canel, a fresh face of Cuba’s Communist Party, is wary of foreign military presence, but “politics is living matter,” Shamanov said.

 

 

The Cuban Missile Crisis was a major confrontation that brought the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear war in early 1960s. During the standoff, Moscow stationed Soviet nuclear-tipped missiles in Cuba in response to the deployment of similar-class American missiles in Turkey.