Russia will not open new military bases abroad – defense official

Russian air defense radar in Quabala, Azerbaijan (image from
Russia will not create new military bases abroad and will cut the number of servicemen in the Black Sea Fleet, compensating it with modern weapons and hardware.

The Russian Defense Ministry has no intention of increasing the number of its military bases abroad, the chairman of the Defense and Security Committee of the Security Council, Viktor Ozerov, told reporters on Wednesday. The official announced this after a closed session of the Russian government. Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said at this session that the maintenance of the military bases abroad is too costly and that Russia already has four such bases, which is sufficient.

Ozerov also said that in the course of the ongoing military reform Russia would cut the personnel of its Black Sea Fleet, which is based mainly in Ukraine’s city of Sevastopol. At the same time, the ministry will send new weapons and hardware to the fleet to compensate for the reduction, the official said.

Presently, Russia has military bases in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Ukraine – all of which are post-Soviet republics.