Russia to begin naval exercises in the Caribbean in attempt to project ‘global power’ — Novaya Gazeta Europe

Russia to begin naval exercises in the Caribbean in attempt to project ‘global power’

The Russian military is to begin conducting naval exercises in the Caribbean Sea as early as next week, The Associated Press reported on Thursday, citing Cuban officials.

Cuban officials reached by The Associated Press on Thursday confirmed that four Russian ships were due to arrive in Havana between 12 and 17 June, citing “historically friendly relations” between the two countries while also stressing that the ships, none of which would be armed with nuclear weapons, did not “represent a threat to the region”.

Reuters, citing a high-ranking source in the US presidential administration, reported that the Biden administration was anticipating that Russia would “conduct heightened naval and air activity near the United States” this Summer, culminating in a “global Russian naval exercise” in the autumn.

The same source said that Russian warships were expected to make port stops in Venezuela as well as Cuba, and that the increased Russian presence in the region, designed to show that Russia was “still capable” of “global power projection”, was related to continued US military support for Ukraine.

The Biden administration does not view these exercises as a threat to the United States, the source told Reuters, as Russia has sent its ships to the Caribbean every year between 2013 and 2020.

However, some commentators have drawn a connection between the increased naval activity and Putin’s remarks on Wednesday which suggested Moscow might take “asymmetrical steps” in other parts of the world following US President Joe Biden’s decision to allow Ukraine to use US weapons to strike military targets inside Russia.

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