Putin flexes muscles with plans for new African base – with chilling echoes of Suez

By Ciarna McGrath, Daily Express

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Moscow is reported to be in discussions with leaders in the East African country with a view to building a 1,500 man-base which would offer support to warships and submarines patrolling the volatile stretch of sea, which is used to traffic huge quantities of goods to and from Europe.

Dr Andrew Foxall, director of the Russia and Eurasia Studies Centre at the Henry Jackson Society, said: “The Horn of Africa is strategically important for a number of reasons, not least because it allows both power projection into the Middle East and influence over the Suez Canal through the Gulf of Aden.“The US and China both have military facilities in Djibouti, and it should come as no surprise that Russia would want facilities there too.“Russia recently extended the lease it has on its naval facility at Tartus in Syria and the development of a facility in Somaliland could be seen as an attempt to build a blue-water navy.“Over the last decade, Russian naval activity has been increasing in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Indian Oceans, and elsewhere.”

Read more in the Express


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