From: Stephen Dalziel <email@example.com>
Subject: RE: 5497-Base Closure
Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2001 14:10:29 +0100
Re: Closure of the Russian electronic surveillance
station at Lourdes, Cuba.
Readers may be interested to know that it seems unlikely that the closure of the base in Cuba is directly linked to the new, improved relationship between Moscow and Washington, following the attacks on New York and Washington on 11 September. Although President Putin will undoubtedly be keen to gain as much political capital from the move as he can - as well as saving an estimated 200 million dollars annually - NOVYE IZVESTIYA reported on 23 AUGUST that some personnel and equipment had begun to be withdrawn from Lourdes, and that it looked as if preparations were being made to close it down. As for Cam Ranh Bay, it's been known for a long time that the Russians were going to withdraw, so Putin's statement on Wednesday merely confirmed what we already knew, and gave us the date of 1 Jan 2002 for the withdrawal to begin.
BBC Russian Affairs Analyst