Russia reaches deal with Cuba to reopen Cold War listening base on the Caribbean island

Relations with the United States have deteriorated over the crisis in Ukraine

Lidia Kelly
Wednesday 16 July 2014 19:17
Comments
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro in Havana, last week
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro in Havana, last week

Russia has quietly reached a provisional agreement with Cuba on the reopening of a big Soviet-era base on the Caribbean island from which it spied on the United States, according to a Russian security source.

The proposed move comes as US-Russian relations have reached a post-Cold War low because of the Ukraine situation.

Confirming a report in the daily Kommersant newspaper which said the deal was agreed in principle during a visit to Cuba last week by President Vladimir Putin, the source told Reuters: “A framework agreement has been agreed.” At the height of the Cold War, the base at Lourdes, just south of Havana, had up to 3,000 staff and was the biggest centre Moscow operated abroad for gathering intelligence from radio signals.

The base, about 110 miles from Key West in Florida, was also used to provide communications for Russian ships.

Government and Kremlin officials did not immediately comment. Russia closed the base in 2001 to cut costs.

Discussions about reopening it began several years ago and intensified this year, Kommersant said, as relations with the United States deteriorated over the crisis in Ukraine.

Moscow has been trying to bolster ties with other countries in Asia and Latin America.

Reuters

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in