Russia has decided to establish naval bases in Libya, Syria and Yemen within a few years, Itar-Tass news agency quoted military officials in a sign of Moscow’s growing foreign policy ambitions.
“It is difficult to say how much time it will take to create the bases for our fleet in these countries, but within a few years this will be done without question,” a military official was quoted as saying.
“The political decision on this question has been taken,” the official said. A spokesman for the Russian navy could not immediately be reached for comment.
A senior general said it was too early to name any foreign ports that could host Russian bases.
“There are negotiations conducted with foreign governments. Such publications (on bases) may have a negative effect on the way of these talks,” Itar-Tass quoted the Russian army’s deputy chief of staff, Colonel-General Anatoly Nogovitsyn, as saying.
The Kremlin is seeking to play a more assertive role in world politics and has been using its military to project its new-found confidence beyond its borders.
Analysts have said that the Syrian port of Tartus could be revived as a Russian naval base. During the Cold War, the Soviet navy had a permanent presence in the Mediterranean, using Tartus as a supply point.
Russian media reported that opening a naval base in the Libyan port of Benghazi was among the main issues discussed during Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s visit to Moscow in October last year.
– From Prophecy News Watch