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Cubans line up in Havana to board Russian military warship

People watch the Russian Navy Admiral Gorshkov frigate arrive at the port of Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, June 12, 2024.
People watch the Russian Navy Admiral Gorshkov frigate arrive at the port of Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. Copyright Arial Ley/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Arial Ley/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews with AP
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A fleet of Russian warships reached Cuban waters on Wednesday ahead of planned military exercises in the Caribbean.

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Hundreds of Cubans and tourists lined up on Thursday afternoon to board the Russian frigate Gorshkov, part of the war fleet that carried out military manoeuvres in the Atlantic.

Cuban and Russian authorities agreed to allow citizens access to the flagship, which arrived the day before accompanied by the nuclear-powered submarine Kazan and two logistic ships, the oil tanker Pashin and the salvage tug Nikolai Chiker.

The queue kept growing throughout the day, although access to the submarine located a few meters away was not allowed.

Children, women, and men of all ages waited their turn and went through the security check.

The chance to board ships of different nationalities arriving in the Bay of Havana is quite usual. Last week, Cuba's government announced that a Royal Canadian Navy ship would arrive next Friday.

As for the Russian fleet, Cuban authorities confirmed that it will be docked in Havana until 17 June.

The Russian Defence Ministry reported that the exercises conducted by its fleet were aimed at simulating missile attacks against other ships and targets located even more than 600 kilometres away.

The Caribbean island, known for its communist rule and a long history of friendly relations with the former Soviet Union and Russia, is just 150 kilometres from the continental US.

US officials downplayed the danger of the visit but said they would closely follow every move of the Russian military vessels.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan pointed out that it was not the first time that Russian ships approached the area and indicated that they did not expect any transfer of missiles or technology from the Russian country to Cuba.

Cuba and Russia are both under US sanctions, a measure that hits the small island hard.

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