Russia denies plans to raise overseas military bases

Moscow, March 29: Russia has denied intentions of building a network of military bases abroad, but confirmed it was in talks over creating logistics facilities for its naval ships, senior officials said Saturday.

“Construction of bases similar to those built by the Americans (in other countries) is out of the question,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a local television interview released Saturday.

Noting that Russian warships do “not just cross oceans for training purposes”, Lavrov said the navy was only making efforts to counter piracy off the African coast, Xinhua reported.

He added that Moscow was consulting with some countries to “ensure that our ships and naval vessels have the possibility to use the existing infrastructure there for maintenance, small repairs, re-supplies and crew rest”. The minister did not specify the countries involved.

“Russia is holding discussions with our partners in Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba over the outlook for concluding agreements on the Russian Navy’s logistic facilities in their territories,” Russian Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov said Friday.

Antonov said an information war was “well underway” in some Latin American countries, adding “we would like to confirm that Russia’s military and military-technical cooperation with countries in the region is not aimed at harming anyone’s interests”.

“We have no plans for (the) permanent presence of Russia’s naval or air force units in Latin American countries. We have no such need,” he added.