he Russian navy says its warships will visit Cuba for the first time since the Soviet era.
The navy says a squadron that has been on a lengthy visit to Latin America will put in at Havana on Friday for a five-day stay.
Navy spokesman Capt. Igor Dygalo says it will be the first visit by Russian warships to the Communist-led island just 90 miles (145 kilometers) from the United States since the 1991 Soviet collapse.
The nuclear-powered cruiser Peter the Great and the destroyer Admiral Chabanenko arrived in the Caribbean last month in a deployment also unprecedented since Soviet times. The voyage is widely seen as a response to the United States’ use of warships to deliver aid to Russia’s neighbor Georgia after their war in August.
Above: Russia’s “Peter the Great”
This is a July 2004 file photo of the Admiral Chabanenko, Russian anti-submarine destroyer, seen in the Barents Sea, Russia. The Admiral Chabanenko sailed through the Panama Canal — the first Russian ship to do so since World War II. The Russian Navy is on a symbolic projection of Moscow’s power in a traditional U.S. zone of influence.