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Despite the concerns of security experts, the Pentagon downplays the arrival of Russian warships to Cuba

The Department of Defense considers this to be “a routine naval visit.” Analysts say Moscow is sending a message to Washington.

A pesar de las preocupaciones de los expertos en seguridad, el Pentágono le resta importancia a la llegada de buques de guerra rusos a Cuba

Los marines rusos hacen guardia en la parte superior del submarino ruso de propulsión nuclear Kazán, parte del destacamento naval ruso que visita Cuba, llega al puerto de La Habana el 12 de junio de 2024. (AFP)

Despite warnings from security experts about what they consider a delicate situation, the Pentagon downplayed the arrival of Russian warships to Cuba, with U.S. officials ensuring that it is an operation that will not go beyond “a routine naval visit.”

At this Wednesday’s press conference, Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh assured that the arrival of the Russian naval flotilla in Havana does not represent a threat to the United States since this situation has occurred on multiple occasions over the years.

However, the official acknowledged that U.S. military assets had been following Russian ships on their way to Cuba along with the help of international allies.

“We’ve been tracking the Russians’ plans for this,” said deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh.

According to ABC News, six warships from the United States, Canadian, and French Navy monitored the transit of Russian warships to Cuba.

“They included the U.S. Navy destroyers USS Donald Cook, USS Delbert Black, USS Truxton, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Stone, the Canadian frigate HMCS Ville de Quebec, and a French Lafayette class frigate,” the report reads.

Singh also explained that the United States will constantly monitor foreign vessels operating near the country’s territorial waters, even if they do not consider them a threat.

“This is not a surprise we’ve seen them do this these type of port calls before and these are routine naval visits that we’ve seen under different administrations,” the official said. “We’re always constantly going to monitor any foreign vessels operating near U.S. territorial waters.”

However, even as the United States downplays Russian warships, some security experts say Moscow is trying to provoke Washington.

Rebekah Koffler, a strategic intelligence analyst, said Putin could seek to position himself close to the United States at a time of rising tensions after Biden authorized Ukraine to use long-range American weapons to attack Russian territory.

“If something goes wrong and Ukraine strikes critical targets in Russia close to major cities, the Russian military can enable the Cubans to strike targets inside the U.S. or U.S. interests,” Koffler said.

Benjamin Gedan, director of the Wilson Center’s Latin America program, also weighed in on Russia’s move: “The warships are a reminder to Washington that it is unpleasant when an adversary meddles in your near abroad.”