The Miami Herald
January 8, 2002

Russia postpones dismantling of spy base in Cuba

 MOSCOW -- (AP) -- The dismantling of a Russian spy base in Cuba, originally set to begin Jan. 15, has been postponed, a Russian general said Tuesday.

 Lt.-Gen. Viktor Denisov, commander of the operation, told the Interfax-Military News Agency that the departure of the three AN-124 heavy cargo planes that are to pick up radar equipment from the listening post in Lourdes, Cuba, had been delayed because the military didn't receive the money to pay for the flights on time. He said the delay was caused by the New Year's holidays, according to the agency.

 Denisov did not say when the flights would be rescheduled, but said the crews were ready to go any time.

 Moscow announced in October that it would close the base in an effort to cut costs in the country's bloated military. The closure of the station -- built in 1964, shortly after the 1962 Cuban missile crisis -- will allow Russia to save at least dlrs 200 million a year in rent and an undisclosed amount in salaries.

                                    © 2002