Published On: Thu, May 8th, 2014

Russian navy ships on patrol in the Caribbean

Viktor-Leonov

MOSCOW, Russia – Set against the backdrop of tensions in Ukraine and the frostiest relations between the West and Moscow since the Cold War, the news that Russian naval vessels are patrolling the Caribbean may give pause for thought.

But, according to voiceofrussia.com, it’s all for a worthy cause.

Last week, the website quoted a spokesman for Russia’s Northern Fleet as saying that two Russian navy ships, together with forces from Nicaragua and Honduras, have taken part in anti-narcotics naval exercises in the Caribbean.

“The exercises focused on joint efforts to stop organized criminal groups and cut drug smuggling channels in territorial waters of Latin American states,” Northern Fleet spokesman Captain 2nd Rank Yevgeny Kirillov said.

Law enforcement personnel from Nicaragua and special police units from Honduras were also reported to have taken part in the drills.

Russia sent a Vishnya-class intelligence ship, the Viktor Leonov, and the Nikolay Chiker support vessel to the exercises.

Russia is said to have started reviving its navy and strategic aviation in the mid-2000s, viewing them as a tool to project Russia’s
image abroad and to protect the country’s interests around the globe.

According to voiceofrussia.com, Moscow now needs to place such military assets in strategically important regions of the world to make them work effectively toward the goal of expanding Russia’s global influence.

Image: Russia's naval vessel docked in Willemstad, Curacao

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