Russia To Deploy Combat Vessels To The Caribbean For Naval Exercises

Russia is preparing to deploy combat vessels in the Caribbean Sea during the summer as part of joint aerial and naval combat exercises, an anonymous United States official told Reuters according to a report published Wednesday...

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euters reports the Caribbean naval exercises will put Russian warships and long-range bombers in the region and will likely include port calls in Cuba and possibly Venezuela, Russia’s closest allies in the region.

The exercises would be the first conducted by Russia in the Caribbean region since 2019, when the Russian military sent the Admiral Gorshkov warship to Havana and a Russian air force plane to Caracas.

The communist regime in Cuba confirmed the upcoming arrival of the Russian vessels to Cuba through a statement issued by its Foreign Ministry on Thursday. In the statement, the communist regime announced three Russian vessels and a nuclear submarine will dock in Havana from June 12 to 17.

“This visit is in keeping with the historic friendly relations between Cuba and the Russian Federation and is strictly in accordance with international regulations to which Cuba is a state party,” the statement read. “None of the vessels is a nuclear weapons carrier, so their stopover in our country does not represent a threat to the region.”

“The visits of naval units from other countries is a historical practice of the revolutionary government with nations with which we maintain friendly and collaborative relations,” the statement continued.

The Castro regime asserted that during their stay in Havana, Russian sailors will carry out a “program of activities that includes courtesy visits to the Chief of the Revolutionary Navy and the Governor of Havana. They will also visit places of historical and cultural interest.”

“During their arrival at the port of Havana, 21 salvos will be fired from one of the ships of the group of ships as a salute to the Nation, which will be reciprocated by an artillery battery of the Revolutionary Armed Forces from the San Carlos de La Cabaña Fortress,” the statement concluded.

According to the American official cited by Reuters, the administration of President Joe Biden is not concerned by the exercises and does not see the move as “threatening,” as Russia sailed ships to the Western Hemisphere on a yearly basis between 2013 and 2020, but the U.S. Navy will nevertheless monitor the exercises.

“As part of Russia’s regular military exercises, we anticipate that this summer, Russia will conduct heightened naval and air activity near the United States. These actions will culminate in a global Russian naval exercise this fall,” the official reportedly said.

The official described the upcoming deployments as part of routine naval activity and said they “pose no direct threat to the United States.”

“We are expecting that Russia will temporarily send combat naval vessels to the Caribbean region and these ships will likely conduct port calls in Cuba and possibly Venezuela. There may also be some aircraft deployments or flights in the region,” the official added.

The exercises follow recent remarks in which Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov warned that the United States could face “fatal consequences” after Biden reportedly granted Ukraine permission to use American weapons to strike certain targets inside Russian territory.

The U.S. official reportedly said that Russian naval activity has increased because of the United States’s support for Ukraine amid Russia’s ongoing invasion. “This is about Russia showing that it’s still capable of some level of global power projection,” the official said.

The official asserted, “We should expect more of this activity going forward, although we note these deployments incur a cost on the Russian Navy, which is struggling to maintain readiness and conduct deployments with an aged fleet.”

According to the senior American official, relevant lawmakers on Capitol Hill were briefed on Thursday about Russia’s upcoming exercises.✪

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