Vice Admiral Viktor Chirkov said in remarks carried Friday by the state RIA Novosti news agency that Russia
is in talks about setting up maintenance and supply facilities for
Russian ships in those countries but wouldn’t give any further details.
Russia’s only existing naval base outside the Soviet Union is located in the Syrian port of Tartus.
Chirkov’s statement marked a sharp about-face for Russia,
which closed a naval base at Vietnam’s Cam Ranh Bay and a spy base in
Lourdes on Cuba in the early 2000s during President Vladimir Putin’s
first term. Putin, who was re-elected to a third term in March, has
vowed to strengthen the Russian military.