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Russia has no plans of reopening military bases in Cuba — diplomat

February 09, 11:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Soviet-era spy base in Cuba, the Lourdes SIGINT Station south of Havana, was closed in 2002
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General Leopoldo Cintra Frias and Russia's Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu (L-R foreground) visit a tank division of the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces, Feb 2015

General Leopoldo Cintra Frias and Russia's Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu (L-R foreground) visit a tank division of the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces, Feb 2015

© Vadim Savitsky/Russian Defense Ministry press service

MOSCOW, February 9. /TASS/. The plans of opening Russia’s military bases in Cuba are not being discussed, a Russian diplomat said in an interview with TASS on Tuesday.

"This issue [of opening bases] is not on the agenda," said Alexander Schetinin, the director of the Latin American department of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

"Our cooperation is now developing in other areas - this is first of all our very close friendly foreign policy cooperation. These are issues of advancing our economic and investment cooperation."

Last year, Russia and Cuba signed major contracts linked to Russia’s participation in implementing a number of significant energy projects and projects in the sphere of developing metallurgy on the Freedom Island, he reminded.

"We have projects in the sphere of transport on the agenda," Schetinin said.

The Soviet-era spy base in Cuba, the Lourdes SIGINT Station south of Havana, was closed in 2002. Some media reports claimed that Russia could reopen the base but the rumors were officially denied after the visit of President Vladimir Putin to Cuba in July 2014.

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