Author`s name Andrey Mihayloff

Cuba, Venezuela or both? Russia wants USA to know what it feels like to be surrounded by NATO

Andrei Kartapolov, the head of the State Duma Committee for Defence, said that Russia does not need military infrastructure in Latin America — the country has Zircon hypersonic missiles instead.

According to Kartapolov, Russia does not need to deploy military bases in either Cuba or Venezuela, since the Russian army has hypersonic missiles in service. A ship or a submarine armed with Zircons can go on combat missions from anywhere in the Atlantic Ocean and then leave, Kartapolov said.

A military base is an immovable and therefore a vulnerable object, so Russia is unlikely to deploy such infrastructure in Latin America, he added.

Earlier, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov neither confirmed nor ruled out a possibility to deploy Russian military bases in Cuba and Venezuela.

In turn, military expert Konstantin Sivkov believes that the deployment of Russian arms in Latin America will not give Russia any military advantages. Instead, it will simply become a symmetrical response to the American threat near the borders of the Russian Federation. In accordance with the state policy in the field of nuclear deterrence, Russia still limits the conditions, in which it can be the first country to strike a nuclear blow.

"In the event of a nuclear conflict, most likely, it is the Americans that will be the first to attack," the expert believes.

In this case, a preemptive strike makes no sense. Therefore, the expert believes, the probable deployment of Russian weapons in Latin America will have political, rather than military significance.

"Any basing system, especially at a considerable distance from the territory of Russia, must be provided with communications,” Konstantin Sivkov said.

The stability of such communications between the Russian Federation and Latin America is very low, primarily due to the fact that the Atlantic Ocean is controlled by the United States, he added.

"In case of urgent need, the Americans, even without starting hostilities, will be able to create conditions, under which Russia will not be able to ensure the stability of its communications,” the expert says.

The Russian bases in Latin America will be completely isolated and subsequently destroyed after they run out of ammunition.

Russian sea-based missiles will be enough

Dmitry Suslov, Deputy Director of the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies at the Higher School of Economics, believes that Russia may deploy sea and air-based missiles, rather than ground-based weapons.

Ground-based missiles are more conspicuous and therefore less effective.

"Even if we hypothetically imagine that Russia might try to deploy weapons somewhere, it will simply turn out that Russia will place targets for the USA to attack them,” the political scientist told lenta.ru.

Instead, Russia could send its submarines armed with Caliber (Kalibr) medium-range nuclear-capable missiles to US coasts more frequently. In addition, Russia could send its strategic aircraft with missiles on board towards US borders more often too. Such moves will not be preemptive — they will come in response to similar actions taken by the United States to demonstrate the danger of its current policy to Washington.

Cuba unwilling, Venezuela too far

The deployment of Russian missiles in Venezuela and Cuba has become a much talked-about subject lately, even though it is not going to have any practical continuation, political scientist Dmitry Suslov is sure. According to him, Havana is unlikely to take up such cooperation with the Russian Federation.

Venezuela is located too far from the United States, and Russia will not be able to gain advantage from deploying missiles on the territory of Venezuela, the expert believes.

Cuba used to be a faithful partner of the USSR back during the Cold War, but those days are now history.

It was because of the Soviet Union that the island nation was subjected to US sanctions that caused it to live with great difficulty for decades.

Cuba tries to regulate its relations with the United States, so it is unlikely to take up such great risk again and will definitely refuse to deploy Russian missiles on its territory.

To crown it all, Soviet bases in Cuba have long been destroyed, and Russia will have to build a new infrastructure from scratch, the expert noted.

At the same time, journalist Yuri Podolyaka, while commenting on the statement from Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov about the possible deployment of Russian missiles in Cuba, said that such actions would make the United States feel like Russia surrounded by NATO troops on all sides.

It is worthy of note that Caliber cruise missiles could indeed be used for the purpose as such container systems can be moved throughout the territory of Cuba and Venezuela, while remaining completely invisible to the United States and NATO.

Should NATO take aggressive steps against Russia, each complex will promptly fire four missiles, while US missile defense systems simply will not have time to respond to an attack from the territory of Latin America. As a result, the Caliber missiles will reach their targets.

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