Russia Praises Cuba for Opening Havana Port to Russian Vessels – Minister

According to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, bilateral relations between Russia and Cuba are “developing dynamically” and the two countries have very similar approaches to the issues of global and regional security.

Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu

HAVANA (Sputnik) – Russia and Cuba share similar stances on the issue of global security and continue to develop their relations in the military-technical sphere, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said after meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro.According to Shoigu, bilateral relations between Russia and Cuba are “developing dynamically” and the two countries have very similar approaches to the issues of global and regional security.

“Our countries are connected by mutual interest in establishing a just and polycentric world order based on equal rights and the respect of international law,” Shoigu said.


The defense minister added that Russia and Cuba are also developing cooperation in the military and technical spheres.”We are grateful to the Cuban side for the welcome it gives to Russian military ships and vessels on their entry to the Havana port and are interesting in broadening cooperation in the naval field,” Shoigu said, also thanking Castro for the warm welcome of the Russian delegation in Cuba.

According to the defense minister, “the time-tested warm relations between Russia and Cuba are acquiring a new dynamic”, largely thanks to the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Havana in July, 2014.

Shoigu’s visit to Cuba wraps up his three-day Latin American tour, which also included visits to Venezuela and Nicaragua. Russia is actively pursuing cooperation with Latin American countries, particularly in the sphere of defense amid NATO’s military expansion in Eastern Europe, a tendency that has raised concerns in Moscow.

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Russia, Venezuela successfully develop military cooperation

12.02.2015 , Siberian Insider

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Russia and Venezuela have been successfully developing military and military-technical cooperation, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said after talks with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday.

Shoigu has described the talks with his Venezuelan counterpart Vladimir Padrino Lopez as “constructive and fruitful.” “We discussed a broad range of issues linked to military and military-technical cooperation,” Shoigu said.

The Russian defense minister, who is currently on a three-day Latin American tour, said the Russian and Venezuelan military cooperation is developing in line with strategic agreements between the two countries’ presidents.

Russia’s National Defense Control Center officially takes up combat duty

The new center comprises institutions in charge of issues of use of weapons of mass destruction, threat analysis and procurement

© Vadim Savitsky/Russian defense ministry’s press service/TASS 
MOSCOW, December 1. /TASS/. A new National Defense Control Center officially started operation in Russia on Monday, in line with a decree signed by Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu.“The establishment of the center is an important step towards forming a single information space for solving tasks in the interests of the country’s defense,” Shoigu said.

The new center comprises the Control Center of Strategic Nuclear Forces (which oversees issues of use of weapons of mass destruction), the Combat Control Center (which analyses threats) and the Daily Activities Control Center (which deals with procurement issues).

Shoigu stressed that the center is a new tool which “will allow conducting a continuous analysis of the environment and developing means of responding towards changes and rapidly coordinating the activity of federal bodies of the executive power in the defense sphere.”

The decision on setting up the center was approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 8, 2013.

Russia and Pakistan sign military cooperation agreement

November 21, 2014 Matthew Bodner, The Moscow Times

Joint naval exercises will be a key feature of future cooperation with Pakistan, as well as military officer exchanges, arms sales and counternarcotics and counterterrorism cooperation.
Russia and Pakistan sign military cooperation agreement Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu. Source: Tass

Russia and Pakistan on Thursday signed their first military cooperation agreement and laid out future avenues of cooperation, ending years of division over Islamabad’s close military ties with the U.S. and Moscow’s with India.

Sergei Shoigu, the first Russian defence minister to visit Pakistan since 1969, characterized his meeting with counterpart Khawaja Asif as an important step in strengthening ties between Moscow and Islamabad.

“During the meeting we agreed that bilateral military cooperation should take on a more practical orientation and enhance the combat capability of our armed forces,” TASS quoted Shoigu as saying after the meeting.

Although the concrete terms of the agreement are not publicly known, Shoigu said joint naval exercises will be a key feature of future cooperation with Pakistan, as well as military officer exchanges, arms sales and counternarcotics and counterterrorism cooperation.

Behind the scenes, Shoigu may have been negotiating an important sale of Mi-35 transport helicopters to Pakistan, Yury Barmin, an expert on Russian arms sales, told The Moscow Times.

Russia approved the delivery of 20 Mi-35s to Pakistan in November, but the details still have to be negotiated, “which is probably one of the reasons why Shoigu is travelling to Pakistan a week after this informal approval was issued by Moscow,” Barmin said.

But more important than specific defence contracts are Russia’s growing strategic interests in the region, driven by security concerns shared with Pakistan — such as instability in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of U.S. troops and counterterrorism and counternarcotics efforts.

Nonetheless, Moscow will play it safe to ensure that its moves do not anger India, Russia’s main strategic partner in the region, said Pyotr Topychkanov, an analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Center.

Regional Interests

India last year purchased $3.8 billion worth of Russian arms — far ahead of the $981 million worth it purchased from the U.S., according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Last year Russia’s recorded exports to Pakistan were much more limited, valued at a mere $22 million, according to SIPRI.

Pakistan’s reconciliation with India after decades of animosity and periodic conflict has provided a window of opportunity for Moscow to expand its relationship with Islamabad.

But according to Topychkanov, a strong relationship with India has to remain Russia’s focus in the region. “Our cooperation with Pakistan should be very specific and limited, while our cooperation with India should be much more strategic,” he said.


Shared security interests are also drawing Pakistan and Russia closer together, as evidenced by Shoigu’s announcement that joint military exercises and security cooperation will become a routine feature of their bilateral relationship.

“The main purpose of these exercises is to share experience in counterterrorism, counternarcotics and anti-piracy,” Topychkanov said.

According to Barmin, the key concern driving Moscow to court Islamabad is the alarming flow of narcotics out of Afghanistan.

“Forty percent of Afghan drugs travel by sea, and a lot of it ends up in Russian ports,” Barmin said.

Also at play is Pakistan and India’s possible ascension next year to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, an economic and military organization comprising Russia, China and several other Central Asian states.

“In the run-up to the SCO’s summit in Ufa in July 2015, Russia will be courting the two countries … and will avoid doing controversial things, such as active defence cooperation with Islamabad,” Barmin said.

First published by The Moscow Times 

Russia, Pakistan sign agreement on military cooperation

Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu

Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu

ISLAMABAD, November 20. /TASS/. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and his Pakistani counterpart Khawaja Asif signed a deal on military cooperation on Thursday in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad.Shoigu said after talks with Pakistan’s defense minister that the agreement is an important step towards strengthening ties between Moscow and Islamabad in the military sphere.

“During the meeting, we agreed that bilateral military cooperation should have a great practical focus and contribute to increasing combat efficiency of our armed forces,” Shoigu said.

Shoigu earlier expressed confidence that the implementation of this agreement will give an additional impetus to all the aspects of Russia-Tajikistan cooperation.

The minister said the sides discussed a range of specific events of particular importance.

This is the first visit by Russia’s defense minister to Pakistan after the collapse of the former Soviet Union. The latest visit took place as far back as 1969, when USSR Defense Minister Andrey Grechko made a trip to the country.

Russia and Pakistan to fight terrorism, drugs together

Russia and Pakistan will pool effort in the struggle against terrorism and drug trafficking with due account of the current situation in Afghanistan and the region as a whole Shoigu said during the visit.

“We shared views on the scope of pressing problems of international and regional security. First of all, this concerns Afghanistan. Our assessments of the situation in that country are mainly close or coincide,” the Russian minister noted.

“We are interested in soonest peaceful settlement of problems amassed here,” he said, adding that easing tensions in the region is one of the priority tasks for the world community.

The two ministers focused on importance of joint effort to fight international terrorism and drug trafficking, Shoigu noted.

Russia sets closer ties with China as overriding priority — defense minister

It becomes particularly important to strengthen reliable good-neighbourly relations between the countries amid highly volatile world situation, says Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu

© ITAR-TASS/Donat Sorokin

BEIJING, November 18. /TASS/. Strengthening and expanding ties with China remains Russia’s overriding priority, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Tuesday.“Amid a highly volatile world situation, it becomes particularly important to strengthen reliable good-neighbourly relations between our countries,” Shoigu said at talks with his Chinese counterpart General Chang Wanquan.

“This is not only an important factor for security of states but also a contribution to peace and stability on the Eurasian continent and beyond,” he said, adding that “regular private meetings between the leaders of Russia and China give a powerful impetus to development of bilateral partnership”.

The minister noted that next year marks the 70th anniversary of the Allied victory in WWII. “The peoples of our countries took heavy casualties in it,” Shoigu said. “Russia’s and China’s solidarity is of principal importance amid attempts to falsify history and glorify fascism.”

Russia and China also started to regularly hold joint naval and anti-terrorism drills, the minister said, adding that the countries’ military forces “showed a high level of cooperation” during an operation to escort vessels carrying Syria’s chemical weapons. Much work was also done during this year’s joint Naval Interaction exercises in the East China Sea, he said.

Shoigu stressed that the two countries maintain high level of military and technical cooperation, noting that issues of that cooperation were “under constant review by our heads of state”.

Russia to keep developing foreign military bases — defense minister

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu referred to military bases in former Soviet republics of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Armenia

© ITAR-TASS/Oleg Davydov

MOSCOW, October 28. /TASS/. Russia will actively keep developing its military bases abroad, Russian Defense Minister, Army General Sergey Shoigu said Tuesday.“We keep developing our bases abroad: in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Armenia. We are developing them rather actively,” Shoigu said at a meeting of the Public Council under the Defense Ministry.

He recalled that recently a Russian squadron went on combat duty in Belarus.

“We settled there and started combat duty and everything connected with training,” Shoigu said.