Russia navy ship sails into Cuba

Vessel sails into waters of Russia's former cold war ally for first time in decades.

    The Admiral Chabanenko has not been in Cuban waters since the collapse of the USSR in 1991 [AFP]

    The destroyer, which is set to stay in Havana for five days, took part in recent joint exercises with the Venezuelan navy and stopped in at former ally Nicaragua before sailing to Cuba.

    It is accompanied by two supply ships.

    Economic relations

    The Chabanenko's visit comes amid renewed diplomatic and economic relations between Cuba and Russia, which is increasing its presence in the Western Hemisphere amid rising tensions with Washington.

    Some analysts believe Russia is signaling its unhappiness with US plans to build a missile defence system in eastern Europe and support for former Soviet republic Georgia in its recent conflict with Russia.

    In public statements, US officials have placed little importance on the Russian naval visit to Latin America.

    Russia was communist-run Cuba's biggest benefactor before their alliance abruptly ended with the fall of the Soviet Union.

    During the Cold War, the Soviet Union had a significant military presence in Cuba and Soviet warships were a common sight in Havana Bay.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.