Navy chief says Russia wants naval bases abroad
MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia's navy chief says that Moscow is talking to Cuba, Vietnam and the Seychelles about housing Russian navy ships.
Vice Admiral Viktor Chirkov said in remarks carried Friday by the state RIA Novosti news agency that Russia is in talks about setting up maintenance and supply facilities for Russian ships in those countries but wouldn't give any further details.
Russia's only existing naval base outside the Soviet Union is located in the Syrian port of Tartus.
Chirkov's statement marked a sharp about-face for Russia, which closed a naval base at Vietnam's Cam Ranh Bay and a spy base in Lourdes on Cuba in the early 2000s during President Vladimir Putin's first term. Putin, who was re-elected to a third term in March, has vowed to strengthen the Russian military.
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