An expert explained the US fear of such a project
The US authorities intend to give a decisive answer if Russia takes steps to deploy its troops in Latin America. This was stated by Assistant to the President of the United States for National Security Jake Sullivan at a briefing at the White House. “If Russia moves in this direction, we will deal with this decisively,” the politician said. MK asked the expert what so alarmed the US.
Photo: RF Ministry of Defense
Sullivan's reaction followed a statement by Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Ryabkov that negotiations between Russia, the United States and NATO had reached an impasse. According to Ryabkov, Russia can carry out activities through the Navy if the United States provokes and continues to exert military pressure on our state. When asked if there is a possibility of deploying Russian military infrastructure on the territory of such states as Venezuela or Cuba, the deputy foreign minister replied: “I don’t want to confirm anything, I won’t exclude anything here either.”
“MK” asked the Director of the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies of the National Research University Higher School of Economics Vasily Kashin to answer how justified the fears of the United States and what kind of reaction can be expected from them.
– I think this is a strong political statement from Russia. As far as I know, the issue of basing our military forces on the territory of Venezuela or Cuba has never been seriously discussed. All that we had before was joint exercises on refueling ships and aircraft and flights of the Tu-160 bomber. The deployment of a large grouping at such a distance from our borders is still difficult for Russia. Therefore, it seems to me that this is rather a hypothetical possibility. Although, at least with Venezuela, we could agree politically on this issue.
I think that the most likely option for a Russian military presence is to host a logistical support facility for the fleet, possibly an airfield for long-range aviation. Still, we no longer have the scale and opportunities that we had under the Soviet Union. When such facilities appear, we can ensure the presence in the area of Russian ships carrying high-precision weapons, combat aircraft and limited forces.
– If everything is limited to the forces that I have listed, then, most likely, the expenses of the Russian side will be small and nothing cardinal for our budget will happen. But such a decision will have an impact on American security policy. And very strongly. This will create an additional factor of tension, which will require the United States to take military measures to counter the hypothetical threat, and hence financial costs. It may also require them to take urgent political measures to restore their influence in the region.
– The benefit of Venezuela is obvious. Their leader feels his precarious position. The United States does not recognize him, he constantly has to face coup attempts. Of course, the appearance of a Russian military base will be a guarantee of security for him. Most likely, in this case, it is unlikely that they will try to remove him by military means.
– Most likely, the United States will influence those countries that have allowed the deployment of Russian bases. These states may face increasing economic and political pressure from the United States. And we will face one or another sanctions and even greater tension in our relations. I don't think we are talking about the threat of a forceful solution here.
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