Picking up from President Medvedev’s admission that he has some ideas on the issue of naval bases abroad . . .
A source in military circles told ITAR-TASS today Russia is not conducting negotiations on new military bases abroad, but, if necessary, it’s prepared to return to this issue. The source says:
“There are also material-technical supply points for our Navy, and there’s talk about the fact that we’re continuing to resolve questions on their status, [but] we aren’t conducting new negotiations on the establishment of new bases.”
The source said, if necessary, Russia would establish new bases:
“But the main thing here is to arrange it so that they [new bases] would operate on a reliable legal basis.”
The source gave Cam Ranh as an example of a former naval base which could be used in the future as a material-technical supply point:
“A base is when a military contingent is located on a permanent basis, weapons are stockpiled, combat missions are set forth, but Russia even has a material-technical supply point in the Maldives.”
So they won’t actually be bases? It seems pretty obvious that, to be useful, they’d have to have a degree of permanence, and maintenance capabilities and personnel, and stockpiles of POL and spare parts.