(Washington Times) The Russian military recently dispatched a guided-missile warship to Cuba as part of what U.S. officials say are growing military, intelligence and economic ties between Moscow and Havana.
The missile cruiser is the Moskva, the flagship of the Russian Black Sea fleet, according to state-run Russian news reports.
"The cruiser Moskva and the large seagoing tanker Ivan Bubnov set off for Havana on the fourth week of their long-distance deployment," a fleet spokesman told Interfax-AVN on Friday. On the way, the ship conducted a test launch of a cruise missile, he said.
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After Havana, the warship will visit Caracas, Venezuela; Managua, Nicaragua; and Praia Port in the Cape Verde Islands off eastern Africa.
The visit to Cuba is part of what the U.S. officials said is a push by Moscow to boost relations with Cuba in the military, energy and transportation sectors.