Russia | Warships sail into Havana harbor
Defence Redefined
Published on 13/06/2024 at 08:33

Russian navy ships docked in the port of Havana on Wednesday, a move the US and Cuba said it did not pose a threat, but was widely seen as a Russian show of force.

Small groups of fishermen and spectators lined the Malecon promenade in a light rain to welcome the ships, as they passed the 400-year-old Morro Castle at the harbor entrance.

The first to arrive was a fuel ship, the Akademik Pashin, and a tugboat, the Nikolay Chiker, while a Russian navy frigate and a nuclear submarine waited offshore and were expected to enter the port by today.

The frigate and submarine, which are part of a group of four Russian vessels that arrived off Cuba yesterday, had conducted missile exercises in the Atlantic Ocean en route to the island, the Russian Defence Ministry said yesterday.

Also read: Cuba | Russian network of Cubans’ illegal recruitment uncovered

Cuba said last week that the visit was standard practice for naval vessels from countries friendly to Havana. The communist government’s Foreign Ministry said the ships were not carrying nuclear weapons, a claim also made by US officials.

History is very important to Cuba, especially when it comes to Russia and its predecessor, the Soviet Union.

The Cuban Missile Crisis erupted in 1962 when the Soviet Union responded to US missile deployments in Turkey by sending ballistic missiles to Cuba, sparking a standoff that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.

Cuban President, Miguel Diaz-Canel, visited Russian President, Vladimir Putin, for the fourth time in May, where he watched a military parade and said Moscow could always count on Havana’s support.

Russia in March delivered 90,000 metric tons of Russian oil to Cuba to help ease shortages and has promised to help Havana with projects ranging from sugar production to infrastructure, renewable energy and tourism.

Russian Navy ships are expected to remain in Havana until June 17.

With information from: CNN Greece

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