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Russian Naval Fleet to visit Havana in Mid-June 2024.

According to information published by the Cuban MFA on June 7, 2024, a detachment of Russian naval vessels will make an official visit to Havana. The fleet will consist of four ships: the frigate Gorshkov, the nuclear-powered submarine Kazan and the fleet tanker Pashin. None of the ships are carrying nuclear weapons.
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Russian Navy Admiral Gorshkov-class frigate Admiral Gorshkov. (Picture source: Russian MFA)

The naval and military relationship between Russia and Cuba has deep historical roots, dating back to the Cold War era. This relationship has seen a resurgence in recent years, primarily driven by mutual geopolitical interests and shared opposition to Western policies, particularly those of the United States.

In recent years, Russia and Cuba have undertaken several initiatives to strengthen their military ties. High-level meetings between defense officials from both nations have become more frequent. For instance, in June 2023, Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces Minister Álvaro López Miera met with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in Moscow. During this meeting, both countries reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing military and technical cooperation​.

One notable aspect of their collaboration is the increased frequency of joint naval exercises. In June 2024, Russia conducted naval exercises in the Caribbean involving several ships and a nuclear-powered submarine. These exercises, while framed as routine, are part of a broader strategy to project Russian military presence in the Western Hemisphere and to counterbalance U.S. influence​.

Additionally, Russia has expressed intentions to establish more permanent military facilities in Cuba and other Latin American countries. These plans, which include potential naval bases, aim to facilitate easier access for Russian military operations in the region. This strategic positioning serves as a reminder of Russia's capabilities to exert influence close to U.S. shores, reminiscent of Cold War dynamics​.

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