Russia's Plan: Open Naval Base Outside of Russia
Russia looks to project more power with first post-Soviet base abroad
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2012 9:10 AM CDT
The Russian Pacific Fleet's flagship Varyag, a Slava-class guided missile cruiser, arrives at a naval base in Qingdao, China in this April 21, 2012 file photo.   (AP Photo/Xinhua, Zha Chunming)

(Newser) – Russia is looking to show off its military muscle by establishing its first post-Soviet-era naval base abroad, the country's naval chief told state-run media today. Vice Admiral Viktor Chirkov said the Navy was "working out the issue of creating sites" in Cuba, Vietnam, or the Seychelles, Reuters reports, though his choice of words implied that any OKed site might not develop into a full-blown naval base.

Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang, however, told Russian radio that he has "no intention of cooperating with any country" that wants to use its port of Cam Ranh for military purposes. Truong is in Russia today for a meeting with Putin. Russia previously had a base at Cam Ranh, but Putin closed it in 2002 for budget reasons. Now its only remaining foreign facility is a maintenance and supply area in volatile Syria. (In other naval news, Iran is bulking up its Persian Gulf presence...)