May 21, 2022 10:37 pm

Putin repeats in the Caribbean the tactic he used after the annexation of Crimea

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On February 23, 2014, Russian troops invaded Crimea and provoked a strong reaction from the international community, particularly the United States and NATO, which threatened immediate sanctions. Three days later, on February 26, the Putin’s defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, who remains in office, said his country was thinking of expanding its military presence in several countries, including Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, as the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported at the time. A few days later, alarm spread over the control that the “little green men” were taking over eastern Ukraine, where the pro-Russian Donetsk People’s Republic would be established, eventually only recognized by some satellite countries of Ukraine.

Moscow.

Today we are facing a similar sequence, although there does not have to be a complete mimicry with respect to 2014; that is to say, the feared invasion does not have to take place. Faced with warnings from Washington of a forceful reaction if Putin introduces his troops into eastern Ukraine, this time formally and not with soldiers without markings on their uniforms, Moscow returns to the threat of responding by taking the pulse of the Caribbean: if the United As the United States questions Russia’s “hegemony” over its neighbors, the Kremlin will also try to undermine US security in its “backyard.” Like eight years ago, it was not a particularly solemn announcement made from Red Square either, but instead it was once again a few statements almost in passing, this time by the Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov.

No Qualitative Leap in Russian Military Presence

Despite the 2014 announcement, Russia has not opened any military bases in the Caribbean countries. For example, the possibility of reissuing the historic Lourdes base in the Greater Antilles, as was speculated at the time, has remained a hypothesis that never materialized. Russia has indeed increased its military relationship with some of those allies –Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba–, but there has been no qualitative leap: as early as 2006 the Chavista government began to buy Russian weapons and the occasional presence of Russian military ships and planes in Venezuela led the US to reactivate its IV Fleet in 2008.

The collaboration of the last years of Mature, such as the maintenance of the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system and the visit of two strategic bombings in 2018, has not led to any special acceleration. On the other hand, Russian troops have been using the Nicaraguan Armed Forces base in Puerto Sandino, on the Pacific coast, in recent years, but curiously, Nicaragua was not mentioned in Deputy Minister Ryabkov’s warning, even though the country hosts several Russian actions, such as a “strange” station for Glonass, the Russian satellite navigation system, and a police training school for the fight against drugs promoted and supervised by Moscow.

The collaboration of recent years with Maduro, such as the maintenance of the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system and the visit of two strategic bombings in 2018, has not led to any special acceleration

All this suggests that these Russian warnings to the United States are more of a tactic for the White House to be cautious in its responses to the Kremlin, that the expression of some pre-established plans in whose execution Moscow is going to put all its efforts. Cyber ​​interference and fake news operations are cheaper for Putin than the unnecessary deployment of troops, already exposed to stress by the overreach of having to cover the extensive Russian ‘near abroad’ (as the subsequent case of Kazakhstan has shown manifest). From what has been seen so far, Putin is interested in selling weapons in Latin America to several countries in the region and having open access to the Caribbean, but without the burden of maintaining the bases themselves, from which he can simply annoy Washington.

China too, or more

This moderate harassment of the United States in its area of ​​influence is part of the geopolitical confrontation scheme in which we find ourselves. The present global geopolitical tension is being played out precisely in the ‘near abroad’ of the three major powers. This term is applied specifically to the space that was once part of the USSR and today surrounds Russia: the Kremlin’s foreign policy is aimed both at ensuring its influence in these areas and at preventing some of them from becoming pawns of the rival great powers.

Such a pulse also occurs in what could be called China’s ‘near abroad’ – the East China Sea and the South China Sea – from where the Chinese want to expel the Americans, who have military bases there. And in the same way, although with less drama, the geopolitical game also takes place in that “near abroad” of the United States, in its own continent.

The US Southern Command, a division of the Pentagon attentive to Latin America and the Caribbean, has been warning every year, in its appearances before Congress, of Russia’s movements in the region

The US Southern Command, a division of the Pentagon attentive to Latin America and the Caribbean, has been warning every year, in its appearances before Congress, of Russia’s movements in the region. But in recent years he has put more emphasis on China than on Russia. The Chinese military presence has so far been minor, but the risk that certain infrastructure managed by China, such as the growing number of port terminals (in various places in the Caribbean and at the mouth of the strategic Panama Canal), could be used militarily by Beijing has created unease in Washington.

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Reference-www.abc.es

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