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Base Bluster: Doubts Cloud Russian Talk of Far-Flung Military Outposts

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

MOSCOW -- As ties between Moscow and Washington plunge to new lows over the conflict in Syria, official rhetoric and Russian media reports suggest the Kremlin is busily working behind the scenes to ramp up its global reach with military bases from the Caribbean to Southeast Asia.
 
On October 7, Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov told parliament that Moscow is “calmly” taking a new look at its decision to close Soviet-era bases in Vietnam and Cuba in 2002.
“As far as our presence in distant areas is concerned, we are dealing with this,” he said.
 
On October 10, citing unnamed Russian sources, the pro-Kremlin daily Izvestia reported that Moscow and Cairo are in secret talks for Russia to reclaim a Soviet-era air base at Sidi-Barrani by 2019 -- a move that would give the Russian military a permanent presence in North Africa.
 
The statements and reports came as parliament was ratifying legislation supporting an open-ended military deployment in Syria, where Russia has established an air base to aid its role backing President Bashar al-Assad in a brutal civil war and is planning to bolster its existing naval facility at Tartus.

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Copyright (c) 2016. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Base Bluster: Doubts Cloud Russian Talk of Far-Flung Military Outposts

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