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Russian warships in Cuba recalls “Cold War posturing,” but no threat, expert says

image of a Cuban sailor walking past the Russian Navy training ship, Perekop, in Havana Bay, Cuba, Tuesday, July 11, 2023. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Russian warships reportedly reached the shores of Cuba on Wednesday, some 200 miles off the coast of Florida — an episode that immediately conjured some of the more tense Cold War moments, but one that experts say is largely non-threatening. According to the Washington Post, Russia’s Defense Ministry said that four Russian vessels arrived at Havana Harbor after conducting “military exercises in the North Atlantic Ocean.”

Mai’a Cross, dean’s professor of political science, international affairs and diplomacy, and director of the Center for International Affairs and World Cultures at Northeastern University, says the maneuver carries more symbolism than actual risk. “They’re not violating international law by docking their ships in Cuba,” she says. 

“It’s notable only in that it is reminiscent of this kind of Cold War posturing,” Cross says, adding that there’s no real threat. Both Russia’s and Cuba’s foreign ministries said the ships aren’t carrying nuclear weapons. Cross says the Russian fleet’s transit isn’t so much a show of force as it is “a bit of swaggering.”

Read more at Northeastern Global News.

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