MOSCOW, July 16 (Reuters) - Russia has quietly reached a provisional agreement with Cuba on reopening a big Soviet-era base on the Caribbean island from which it spied in the United States, a Russian security source said on Wednesday.
Confirming a report in the daily Kommersant newspaper which said the deal was agreed in principle during a visit to Cuba last week by President Vladimir Putin, the source told Reuters: "A framework agreement has been agreed."
At the height of the Cold War, the base at Lourdes, just south of the capital Havana, had up to 3,000 personnel and was the biggest centre Moscow operated abroad for gathering intelligence from radio signals. The base, 250 km (150 miles) from the U.S. coast, was also used to provide communications for Russian ships. (Writing by Timothy Heritage)