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Russia denies planning to base bombers in Cuba: reports

"Russia, out of its peace-loving policies, does not build military bases along the borders of other states," RIA Novosti quoted defence ministry spokesman Ilshat Baichurin as saying.
by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) July 24, 2008
Russia's defence ministry on Thursday denied a report it was considering basing bomber aircraft in Cuba in retaliation for US missile defence plans in Eastern Europe, a news agency reported.

"We regard these sorts of reports from anonymous sources as disinformation," RIA Novosti quoted defence ministry spokesman Ilshat Baichurin as saying.

Baichurin was referring to an article published Monday in the Izvestia daily that cited an anonymous military source as saying that Moscow was considering sending bombers to Cuba in retaliation for the US plans, RIA Novosti said.

He suggested the report could have been spread by foreign countries building military bases and installations around Russia, an apparent allusion to US plans to build elements of a missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Moscow does not plan to build bases threatening other states, he said.

"Russia, out of its peace-loving policies, does not build military bases along the borders of other states," RIA Novosti quoted Baichurin as saying.

On Tuesday, US General Norton Schwartz said Russia would cross "a red line for the United States of America" if it were to base nuclear-capable bombers in Cuba.

The controversy over Cuba comes amid an ongoing US-Russian spat over Washington's plans to build an anti-missile radar facility in the Czech Republic and site interceptor missiles in Poland.

Last week, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned that Moscow would take countermeasures against the planned US installations. Russia argues that they threaten its national security despite US assurances that they are directed against "rogue states" like Iran.

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Missile crew falls asleep with nuclear code device: air force
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