U.S. Says Russia Planning Naval Drills in Caribbean Sea

Washington is tracking Russian warships headed to the Caribbean Sea for military exercises this summer, Reuters and the Associated Press reported, citing unnamed U.S. officials.

According to the reports, officials said they believe the anticipated drills were “certainly” part of Russia’s broader response to U.S. support for Ukraine.

AP said Moscow has not notified Washington about the drills, which Reuters described as “heightened naval and air activity near the United States.” 

The “handful” of Russian warships and support vessels might make port calls in Cuba and Venezuela, officials said. Both countries have historically maintained close ties with Russia. 

The reports came as President Vladimir Putin threatened that Moscow could arm countries to attack Western targets in response to the Western governments allowing Kyiv to use their weapons to strike targets inside Russia.

The officials cited by Reuters and AP underscored that Russia was planning “regular” drills and that militaries around the world have the right to conduct exercises in international waters.

Russia’s Defense Ministry has not publicly announced plans to hold naval exercises in the Caribbean Sea in the coming weeks.

“These actions will culminate in a global Russian naval exercise this fall,” a U.S. official was quoted as saying.

Russia is also seeking to project its naval power around the world after suffering losses in the Black Sea during the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the officials added.

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