31 Oct, 2018
Moscow’s response to Trump’s plans to quit the INF treaty could be to reinstall military bases in Cuba, the State Duma defense committee head said. He also predicted “a new Cuban crisis” if the US and Russia fail to come to terms.
The US is planning to walk away from the crucial Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, and Russia’s response may well be in the spirit of those times – namely, reactivating military facilities in Cuba. That is according to Vladimir Shamanov, the head of the State Duma defense committee and a former Airborne Troops commander.
Indeed, the Cuban government has to allow the Russian military back, and this is more about politics than defense issues, Shamanov speculated.
“Assessing this scenario is underway, and [policy] proposals will come next,” he told Russia’s Interfax News Agency without elaborating.
This issue may be raised when Cuba’s new president, Miguel Diaz-Canel, visits Russia in early November. Diaz-Canel, a fresh face of Cuba’s Communist Party, is wary of foreign military presence, but “politics is living matter,” Shamanov said.
“Cuba has its own interests and it was hurt by US sanctions,” he added.
Previously, the retired Airborne General urged Moscow and Washington to come to terms and get back to reconciliation.
“If we don’t stop it now and don’t talk, we actually may create conditions similar to those [which led to the] Cuban crisis,” he was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.