- Russia has been sending warships further afield in a bid to increase the reach of its navy in recent years
PUBLISHED: 11:24 EST, 27 July 2012 | UPDATED: 11:39 EST, 27 July 2012
Russia is hoping to establish its first naval base abroad since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
And with winters as harsh as those in Siberia, you can’t really blame them for looking to warmer climes when considering the location.
The tropical countries of Cuba, Vietnam and the Seychelles are all being considered as possible locations, Russia’s naval chief has confirmed.
Russia has been sending warships further afield in a bid to increase the reach of its navy in recent years.
The move is part of an effort to restore pride project power in a world dominated by the U.S. military.
Vice Admiral Viktor Chirkov said in an interview: ‘It’s true that we are continuing work on providing the navy with basing outside the Russian Federation.’
The Soviet Union had a large naval base in Communist ally Vietnam but post-Soviet Russia opted to vacate the Cam Ranh base in 2002 – during President Vladimir Putin’s first Kremlin term – because rent payments were a burden on state coffers.
The only Russian naval facility outside of the former Soviet Union is a maintenance and supply facility in the Syrian port of Tartous.
However, its future is uncertain because of the conflict in Syria.
Chirkov said Russia was ‘working out the issue of creating sites for material and technical support on the territory of Cuba, the Seychelles and Vietnam.’
Chirkov’s wording suggested facilities in those countries might be less extensive than full-scale naval bases. Navy officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang, who was in Russia and was to meet Putin on Friday, was quoted as telling a Russian radio station that Vietnam has ‘no intention of cooperating with any country with the aim of military use of the port of Cam Ranh’.
However, Sang was quoted as telling Voice of Russia radio that a maintenance and service facility at the port would be open to ships from all nations and that, in the interest of furthering a ‘strategic partnership’ with Moscow, Vietnam ‘will provide Russia with advantages in Cam Ranh, including with aim of developing military cooperation’.