Former Russian president excludes missiles in Cuba or Venezuela, but sees 'red lines' very close

Russia's ex-President Dmitry Medvedev excludes missiles in Cuba or Venezuela

Dmitry Medvedev, who earlier served as Russia's Prime Minister and President, believes that discussing an opportunity to deploy Russian missiles and Cuba and Venezuela rises tensions even further.

Medvedev stressed that Cuba and Venezuela wanted to restore relations with the United States, and the deployment of Russian bases there did not come along with the "geopolitical positioning" of the Latin American countries.

The deployment of Russian military infrastructure in Cuba and Venezuela, as it was during the Soviet period, is out of the question, Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with Russian media outlets.

According to Medvedev, both of these countries are partners of Russia, but at the same time, they are sovereign states that are striving to get out of isolation, and, to a certain extent, restore normal relations with the United States of America.

"We cannot place anything with them, like it used to be the case with Cuba, simply because this should be consistent with their geopolitical positioning and their national interests,” Medvedev stressed, RIA Novosti said.

It would be wrong to talk about this topic, because it would rise tensions in the world even further.

Russia wants no war

Russia does not want war, Medvedev stressed, adding that Moscow sees negotiations on security guarantees to be the only way out to resolve tensions between Russia and NATO.

Interestingly, on January 13, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, in an interview with RTVI, in response to a question about the possibility to deploy Russian military infrastructure in Cuba or Venezuela said:

"I don't want to confirm anything, and I won't exclude anything here either.” "The decision depends on the actions of American colleagues," he added.

On January 16, The New York Times wrote that Russian officials, in a series of talks with the US and NATO representatives, "hinted" at a possibility to deploy nuclear weapons near the borders of the United States, should the West refused to comply with Moscow's demands. The diplomats admitted, the newspaper wrote, that Russia could deploy certain arms systems in unspecified locations off the coast of the United States, which would reduce the time to approach targets inside US to five minutes.

On January 26, the United States handed over the answers to Moscow's questions to the Russian side. The documents have not been published.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that the response from the American side indicated the spheres, in which, in its opinion, Russia and the United States could cooperate.

Washington is ready to discuss:

  • non-deployment of missiles in Ukraine,
  • military exercises in Europe,
  • arms control,
  • transparency,
  • risk mitigation measures.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also outlined the areas where progress with Moscow could be possible:

  • resumption of contacts,
  • discussions based on EU principles
  • military exercises.

Red lines are very very close

Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council, explaining the need for the demands that Russia set out to the United States and NATO, said that "the red lines <…> are already very, very close."

"Those red lines, which the President spoke about, are already very, very close. The documents on security guarantees that were handed over to the Americans are related to that. They are not rigid, they are just very specific and very clear — they capture our concerns,” Medvedev said as quoted by TASS news agency.

Putin has repeatedly spoken about the "red lines", warning the West not to cross them in relations with Russia.

"I hope that it will never occur to anyone to cross the so-called red line with respect to Russia. And where this line will go — we are going to decide that ourselves in each particular case,” Vladimir Putin said in April last year.

In November, Putin acknowledged that the so-called red lines tend to be "speculative." At the same time, he emphasized that NATO actions, including the deployment of air defense forces in Poland and Romania, posed a threat to Russia's security.

"Where are those red lines? First of all, it goes about the creation of threats for us <…>,” Putin said.

Noteworthy, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated bluntly that it was Ukraine's incorporation into NATO that Russia saw as a red line.

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