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#297495 - 09/08/08 02:22 PM The Russians are Coming!
deadserious Offline
- Russia said on Monday it would send a heavily-armed nuclear-powered cruiser to the Caribbean for a joint naval exercise with Venezuela, its first major maneuvers on the United States' doorstep since the Cold War.

Originally Posted By: Reuters
Russia says to send nuclear warship to Caribbean
Mon Sep 8, 2008 1:02pm EDT

By Conor Sweeney

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia said on Monday it would send a heavily-armed nuclear-powered cruiser to the Caribbean for a joint naval exercise with Venezuela, its first major maneuvers on the United States' doorstep since the Cold War.

Russian officials denied the mission was linked to a naval standoff with U.S warships in the Black Sea, but it will take place at a time of high tension between Washington and Moscow over the conflict in Georgia.

Washington has played down the significance of the exercise.

Russia has criticized the United States for sending a command ship and two other naval vessels to Georgia, on its southern border, to deliver aid and show support for President Mikheil Saakashvili after Moscow sent troops into Georgia.

Kremlin leader Dmitry Medvedev asked on Saturday how Washington would feel "if we now dispatched humanitarian assistance to the Caribbean ... using our navy".

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said on Monday that the naval mission to Venezuela would include the nuclear-powered battle cruiser "Peter the Great", one of the world's largest combat warships.

Moscow's most modern destroyer, the "Admiral Chabanenko", will also steam to the Caribbean, along with other ships, including a fuel tanker, he added.

The naval exercise, to take place in November, will be backed up by an anti-submarine aircraft, based at a Venezuelan airfield, he said.

Russia denied that the move amounted to retaliation against the United States over its action in Georgia.

"We are talking about a planned event not linked with current political circumstances and not in any way connected to events in Georgia," he told a news briefing. The exercises "will in no way be directed against the interests of a third country".

The ships will participate in "joint maneuvers, practice search and rescue and communications drills," Russian Navy spokesman Igor Dygalo said in a statement. He added the exercise had been planned for a year.


The 'Peter the Great' is large and heavily armed with both surface-to-surface and around 500 surface-to-air missiles, said Jon Rosamund, editor of Jane's Navy International, a specialist publication.

"On paper it's an immensely powerful ship," he said. "We are not really sure if this is a show of force or if it poses a viable operational capability at this stage," Rosamund said.

"These ships have far more capability, on paper, than the U.S. destroyers that went to the Black Sea, but it's difficult to compare capacity," Rosamund said. "The Russian navy is keen to be seen on the world stage."

Admiral Eduard Baltin, former commander of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, said the Caribbean maneuvers meant "Russia is returning to the stage in its power and international relations which it, regrettably, lost at the end of last century".

"No one loves the weak," Baltin was quoted as saying by Russia's Interfax news agency.

But U.S. officials tried play down any concerns.

"We've seen the reports and we'll see how the exercise goes," said White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe.

The Pentagon said it was not concerned by the exercise.

"We exercise... all around the globe and have joint exercises with countries all over the world and so do many other nations," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, an outspoken critic of the United States, said during a visit to Moscow in July that Russian warships or warplanes were welcome to visit.

Chavez is a major arms client of Moscow, saying he needs Russian weaponry to dissuade "the North American empire" from invading his country.

(Additional reporting by Dmitry Solovyov in Moscow and Jeremy Pelofsky and Andrew Gray in Washington; writing by Michael Stott and Conor Sweeney; editing by Sami Aboudi)

Now back to your regularly scheduled drivel...

#297529 - 09/08/08 04:40 PM Re: The Russians are Coming! [Re: deadserious]
H20dog Offline
We need McCain to blow it out of the water!!!!!! How many miles of water constitutes "doorstep"? I'm pretty sure they sail closer to our shores daily, than they do going to Venezuela.

#297533 - 09/08/08 05:25 PM Re: The Russians are Coming! [Re: H20dog]
azbob Offline
Maybe Russia is trying to influence the US elections. First Georgia and now Venezuela!

There must be a conspiracy theory here some where!

The Russians have already spelled out their foreign policy, IMO, by what is being called the “Medvedev Doctrine” and I quote:

•First, Russia recognizes the primacy of the fundamental principles of international law, which define the relations between civilized peoples. We will build our relations with other countries within the framework of these principles and this concept of international law.

•Second, the world should be multipolar. A single-pole world is unacceptable. Domination is something we cannot allow. We cannot accept a world order in which one country makes all the decisions, even as serious and influential a country as the United States of America. Such a world is unstable and threatened by conflict.

•Third, Russia does not want confrontation with any other country. Russia has no intention of isolating itself. We will develop friendly relations with Europe, the United States, and other countries, as much as is possible.

•Fourth, protecting the lives and dignity of our citizens, wherever they may be, is an unquestionable priority for our country. Our foreign policy decisions will be based on this need. We will also protect the interests of our business community abroad. It should be clear to all that we will respond to any aggressive acts committed against us.

•Finally, fifth, as is the case of other countries, there are regions in which Russia has privileged interests. These regions are home to countries with which we share special historical relations and are bound together as friends and good neighbors. We will pay particular attention to our work in these regions and build friendly ties with these countries, our close neighbors.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev also stressed, “These are the principles I will follow in carrying out our foreign policy. As for the future, it depends not only on us but also on our friends and partners in the international community. They have a choice.”

Interpretation optional!
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