At the very moment a Russian warship has docked in Cuba — a mere one hundred miles off the American coast, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has slammed US build-up of its weapons systems in Europe by invoking comparisons to the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.
Ryabkov made his comments early Monday, the same day the frigate Admiral Gorshkov, armed with Kalibr missiles, entered the port of Havana.
“If things get as far as an actual deployment on the ground of these sorts of systems, then the situation won’t just get more complicated, it will escalate right to the limit,” Ryabkov was quoted as saying in RIA news agency.
“We could find ourselves in a situation where we have a rocket crisis close not just to the crisis of the 1980s but close to the Caribbean crisis,” Ryabkov said further while using the standard Russian term for the Cuban missile crisis.
Apparently Moscow wanted to provide Washington with a nice easy-to-understand visual of its warnings of a potential future escalating crisis in the form of its warship entering Cuban waters, which international reporters and cameras were on hand to capture.
This also comes in the wake of the collapse of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which was long credited with keeping US missile build-up out of Europe during the end years of the Cold War.
According to Russian media reports, the Admiral Gorshkov left the Russian port of Severomorsk in late February, making multiple stops including in China before docking on Cuba and is accompanied by multiple support vessels, including the logistics vessel Elbrus, the medium sea tanker Kama and the rescue tug Nikolai Chiker.
Cuban state media described the purpose of the ship's visit as carrying out “a program of activities that includes courtesy visits to the chief of the [Cuban] Revolutionary Navy, as well as touring places of historical and cultural interest.”
Russian sources said that as the Gorshkov approached Cuba, "American warships loomed along Cuba’s coast, with the guided missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham keeping the closest watch just a few miles away."
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov had also warned of the following concerning NATO expansion and US weapons systems in Europe in conjunction with the warship's Cuba visit:
If things get as far as an actual deployment on the ground of these sorts of systems, then the situation won't just get more complicated, it will escalate right to the limit.
The Admiral Gorshkov entered service last year and is armed with cruise missiles, air defense systems and is even rumored to possess a "hallucination weapon" which reportedly makes targeted crews become disoriented, hallucinate, and vomit.