Parliamentarians View Closure Of Russian Bases Abroad Differently

Deputies of the Lower House of the Russian Parliament, the State Duma, differ in their opinions on the decision to close a Russian naval base in Vietnam and an radio-electronic center on Cuba. First Deputy Head of the Fatherland-All Russia Faction Konstantin Kosachev characterized this decision "as forced, but indicative of Russia's new pragmatic approach to its geopolitical and economic interests." Mr. Kosachev stressed that recently the base at Cam Ranh Bay has been in operation "sort of by inertia; only 500 experts were working on it." In Mr. Kosachev's view, the same is true about the radio-electronic center in Lourdes, Cuba. "For decades, this facility was supplying Soviet and later Russian military with invaluable information," Mr. Kosachev said. However, he added, the situation around the facility "was not unambiguous," and Cuba, in contrast with its current statements, in the first half of the 90s, wanted to cease the center's! ! operation. The position of some deputies of the Communist Party Faction is different. Viktor Ilyukhin, member of the Defense Committee, expressed his disagreement with the closure of the two facilities. State Duma Chairman Gennady Seleznev is of the opinion that deputies are to receive additional information on reasons of the closure and possible consequences of this step.

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