- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 14, 2009

MOSCOW (AP) - The Interfax news agency has reported that a Russian Air Force chief says Russian strategic bombers may be based in Cuba.

The agency says the chief of staff of Russia’s long range aviation Maj. Gen. Anatoly Zhikharyev said Cuba has air bases with four or five suitable runways.

The agency reported Saturday that he said Cuba could be used to base Russian bombers if the two countries “display a political will, we are ready to fly there.”

Cuba has never permanently hosted Russian or Soviet strategic aircraft. But Soviet short range bombers often made stopovers there during the Cold War.

Russia resumed long-range bomber patrols in 2007 after a 15-year hiatus.

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