Communists ask Putin to deploy missiles to Cuba in reply to Pentagon's
Published time: 27 Apr, 2016 12:16
Two senior lawmakers representing the Communist Party propose to deploy
missile systems to Cuba and resume the work of the Lourdes spy base in
reply to US plans that could threaten Russia and its allies.
According to Parlamentskaya Gazeta daily, Valery Rashkin and Sergey
Obukhov addressed President Vladimir Putin with a letter in which they
write that they had learned of the Pentagon's plans to place HIMARS
multiple-launch missile systems in Turkey.
The lawmakers then noted that due to their relatively long range (up to
500km) these systems can pose a threat to member-countries of the
Russia-led military bloc Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO),
in particular Armenia.
To protect Russia's interests and secure the safety of its allies, the
Communist lawmakers proposed resuming the work of the Lourdes electronic
intelligence base in Cuba and also deploying Russian missile complexes
on the island. They emphasized that these steps could be taken under the
existing friendship and cooperation treaty between the Russian
Federation and the Republic of Cuba.
Rashkin and Obukhov also forwarded copies of their letter to Defense
Minister Sergey Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
The recipients of the message have not immediately issued any comments
but deputy head of the upper house Committee for International
Relations, Vladimir Djabarov, told Life news portal that in his view the
proposal is a just a populist step on the Communists' part.
"First, the situation on Cuba is different now – they have restored the
diplomatic relations with the United States. Second – placing missiles
there would have no effect on our security. Therefore this is just a
populist proposal which hardly matches the interests of our country's
security," the senator said.
Russia had a major electronic intelligence base, the SIGINT facility, in
Lourdes, Cuba, since 1967. The base was the largest of all Soviet
intelligence centers abroad with 3,000 personnel. After the Soviet Union
collapsed, the base was downscaled, but continued operation. In 2001,
the Lourdes intelligence center stopped its operations mainly because of
Rumors about possible reopening of the base have been repeatedly
circulated since its closure, but Russian diplomats and officials
rejected them as attempts to spoil the relations between the states.
President Vladimir Putin personally denied any plans to reopen the base
during his visit to Cuba, adding that Russia can "meet its defense needs
without this component."
The Soviet Union put 40 nuclear-capable ballistic missiles on Cuba in
1962 in reply to the United States' deployment of their medium-range
Jupiter missiles in Turkey. Tensions quickly escalated into the
so-called Cuban Missile Crisis and many experts agree that the two
nations were very close to a full scale nuclear war. The ensuing talks
ended in mutual removal of the weapons from both Turkey and Cuba.
Source: Communists ask Putin to deploy missiles to Cuba in reply to
Pentagon's Turkey expansion — RT Russian politics -