Since 2014, when it became clear that Russia will not be able to have friendship with the United States, there has been talking of the possibility of returning our military to Cuba. There has been an increase in contacts on the military line between Havana and Moscow. Does this mean that St. Andrew’s flags will once again begin to roar over the Island of Freedom?
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said:
The establishment of a Russian Navy base with ballistic missile deployment is a direct violation of the agreements between Moscow and Washington, which have been in place since the end of the Caribbean crisis.
Ballistic missiles in the underbelly of the United States – it sounds cool, but how real is it today? On the one hand, such a step would be an adequate response to Washington’s withdrawal from the DRSMD and, in the future, START-3. On the other hand, it would obviously provoke an inadequate reaction from the Americans, as was the case during the Cuban Missile Crisis, which Ms. Hortagus mentioned. The Pentagon will immediately target Freedom Island with everything it has, and it will have to build a powerful air defense/missile defense and missile defense system over the base. The big question is whether it is official Havana, especially after Moscow wrote off its debt of $30 billion. However, in the case of a real deterioration of relations with the United States, the scenario with the transfer of ballistic missiles cannot be ruled out.
But much more likely is the “light” scenario with the opening of a foreign logistics point of the Russian Navy instead of a full base of nuclear submarines. Thus, the Russian fleet returned to the Vietnamese Kamran, from where he voluntarily left in 2002. In 2013, Moscow signed an agreement with Hanoi to share this deep-sea bay. Russian ships and submarines of the Pacific Fleet can enter it in a simplified manner and be repaired. Vietnam has received six Warsaw class submarines, our specialists train their colleagues. Russian Il-78 refuelers, designed to serve Tu-95MS strategic bombers patrolling the Pacific Ocean, can be based at the Kamrani airfield.
This is still enough for the current needs of our Pacific and irritates the Americans who appealed to Hanoi with a demand to remove the Russian planes. The Vietnamese refuse because they are thus seeking a balance of power in the region. Most likely, under the same scenario will occur and return of the Russian Navy to Cuba. The Kremlin is ready to help the Island of Freedom in the modernization of its purely symbolic fleet, represented by several old posedinas and boats. Two years ago, a representative of the United Shipbuilding Corporation stated:
The two sides discussed cooperation in maritime transport, including the possibility of upgrading Cuba’s port infrastructure and developing Cuban ports and shipyards.
Moscow has agreed to give Havana a loan of more than a billion euros. Most likely, we will talk about the modernization of the port of Cienfuegos. Its bay depth reaches 600 meters, which is suitable for submarines of any type, including those carrying ballistic missiles. After the end of the Caribbean crisis, Soviet warships and submarines were frequent visitors to Cienfuegos, which irritated the Pentagon.
Most likely, after the modernization of the Cuban port, a second foreign logistics point of the Russian Navy will be opened there, and ships and submarines under the St. Andrew’s flag will begin to appear regularly there.