Russia to Hold Naval Drills in Caribbean Sea


Russia is set to deploy combat vessels in the Caribbean Sea this summer during aerial and naval combat exercises, an anonymous United States official informed Reuters in a report published Wednesday.

The exercises will mark Russia’s first conduct 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 Cuban communist regime confirmed the impending arrival of Russian vessels to Cuba via a statement from its Foreign Ministry on Thursday. The statement announced that three Russian vessels and a nuclear submarine will dock in Havana from June 12 to 17.

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

The Cuban regime stated that Russian sailors will engage in 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.”

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

Cuban military fires salutes to welcome Russia’s anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Chabanenko as it enters the harbor of Havana against the Malecon waterfront backdrop, arriving in Cuba for a five-day visit on December 19, 2008 in Havana, Cuba. (Sven Creutzmann/Mambo photo/Getty)

The American official referenced by Reuters indicated that President Joe Biden’s administration is not worried about the exercises and does not consider the move “threatening,” as Russia has been sending ships to the Western Hemisphere annually from 2013 to 2020. Nevertheless, the U.S. Navy will monitor the exercises.

“As part of Russia’s routine military drills, we expect increased naval and air activity near the United States this summer. These activities will culminate in a global Russian naval exercise this fall,” the official reportedly relayed.

The official described the upcoming deployments as routine naval activity, asserting they “pose no direct threat to the United States.”

“We anticipate that Russia will temporarily send combat naval vessels to the Caribbean region, possibly conducting port calls in Cuba and Venezuela. There may also be some aircraft deployments or flights in the area,” the official added.

The exercises follow recent remarks by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, warning that the United States could face “fatal consequences” after reports that Biden permitted Ukraine to use American weapons against certain targets on Russian territory.

“This is about Russia demonstrating its ability for some level of global power projection,” the official stated.

The official asserted, “We should expect more of this activity in the future, even though these deployments impose a cost on the Russian Navy, which struggles to maintain readiness and deployments with an aging fleet.”

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

Christian K. Caruzo is a Venezuelan writer documenting life under socialism. You can follow him on Twitter here.

Christian K. Caruzo
Christian K. Caruzo
Christian K. Caruzo is a Venezuelan writer and documents life under socialism.

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