Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov warned that the United States and Russia could be on the verge of another “Cuban Missile Crisis” just as a Russian warship entered Cuba’s Havana Harbor on Monday.
Russia has largely been critical of the plans the United States has of deploying missile systems in Eastern Europe.
The country has also been cautious about the withdrawal by the United States from the INF arms control treaty.
The warship is considered the nation’s most advanced and is armed with missiles and air defense systems, as well as other weapons, PBS Newshour reports.
As the warship made its way into the harbor, it was greeted warmly by Cuban forces with a 21-gun salute.
The Admiral Gorshkov responded in favor with its own salute.
Many see the move to dock the warship in Cuba as a show of strength from Russia as tensions between the two countries continue to rise.
“If things get as far as an actual deployment on the ground of these sorts of systems, then the situation won’t just get more complicated, it will escalate right to the limit,” Ryabkov said.
“We could find ourselves in a situation where we have a rocket crisis close not just to the crisis of the 1980s but close to the Caribbean crisis,” he added.
The docking of the warship is reminiscent of the 1960s Cuban Missile Crisis as the U.S. blocked Soviet ships from heading to Cuba.
The crisis escalated when Russia sent nuclear missiles to Cuba, putting the world on the brink of a nuclear war.
The conflict was eventually resolved with Russia agreeing to move its missiles from Cuba and the United States agreeing to remove its missiles from Turkey.
The United States also agreed not to invade Cuba as part of the deal.
In February, Russian President Vladimir Putin echoed these statements, saying that any U.S. deployment of missile systems near its borders would be matched with missiles near the United States.