- Russia plans to have new submarines in Cuba.
- The new submarines will have Zircon and Calibr.
- US and NATO is concerned of the possibility.
Talks surrounding Cuba and Russia re-establishing close ties have been surfacing since 2014. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union provided financial support to Cuba. However, after the collapse of the USSR, it halted. Back in the 1970s, the Soviet Navy ships visited but never had a full fledged base in Cuba.
There was a discussion during the Army 2020 Expo that Russian Navy warships and submarines are getting a base in Cuba again. The expo wraps up today. There were multiple unveilings this week of the new Russian defense technology, including a Vityaz D upgrade, the new missiles and mobile hospitals, new drone technology, new laser complex, new silent weapon, and the new BMP.
It is plausible that Russia will use the existing base at the Bay of Cienfuegos. Moreover, NATO and the West are cautiously keeping close watch on the situation. It should be noted in 2018, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel visited Moscow.
However, this visit only occurred due to Donald Trump’s hostility to Cuba. The current US president, did not honor the hard work Barack Obama had done in order to establish relations with Cuba.
The United States’ embargo against Cuba prevents American businesses, and businesses with commercial activities in the United States, from conducting trade with Cuban interests. This is one of the longest embargo in history.
Therefore, when Trump came to power he reversed Obama’s initiatives and pushed Cuba back to Russia. Of course, it played into the Kremlin interests and to gain again geopolitical control in Cuba.
Earlier this year, Russian Admiral Nikolai Evmenov visited Cuba. According to the media, “Admiral Evmenov held a number of meetings with the leadership of the defense Department of the Republic of Cuba, as well as visited various facilities and units of the Navy.”
During his visit he toured defense facilities to eventually start work on modernization of these facilities. It is expected that some of new ships currently being built will be positioned in Cuba in the near future. Further activities were put on hold due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic has been impacted all spheres around the globe.
Nevertheless, this month the US State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortabus made a public statement. “The establishment of a Russian Navy base in Cuba with the deployment of ballistic missiles is a direct violation of the agreements between Moscow and Washington that have been in force since the end of the Caribbean crisis.”
At the same time, the Pentagon reported, “in response to this provocation by Moscow, we are considering the use of force and are closely monitoring Russian military activity near the US borders in the zone of direct American interests.”
According to the Russian side, the reason behind having Russian Navy in Cuba is the response of NATO adding troops close to the Russian border. This summer, the US also relocated US troops from Germany to Poland.
Of course, that is a cop-out, as in reality, the Kremlin wants more control. That is why the Kremlin has been supporting Assad in Syria as well. To reiterate, it is Trump’s policy and agenda that is making Russia get close again.
Russia will have the convenience of having the base point in Cuba, which will allow us to extend the combat service life of our nuclear-powered vehicles at times! They will not have to cross the Atlantic again each time, returning to their bases on the Kola Peninsula.
The change of crews can be carried out directly in Cuba. The change crew can be located in Cuba and rotate. It will also allow Russia to go on combat service to the Atlantic coast of the United States two or three times in a row without returning home. The submarines will be 885M project with Caliber and Zircon missiles.
In February, Russia announced successful testing of the Hypersonic missile Zircon from an Admiral Gorshkov class ship, the Russian Naval Fleet’s lead ship of the 22350 multi-purpose frigate project. The K-266 Orel and K-186 Omsk have already been commissioned into the Russian Northern and Pacific fleets.
Overall, there is a lot riding on the US Presidential Election this November. It includes, what will be the US’ defense strategy going forward? That will depend if Joe Biden is elected or Donald Trump is re-elected. If the latter, Russia will get Cuba fully. Time will only tell.
Since history tends to repeat itself, it hopefully won’t be a repeat of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The future remains unknown.