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DND confirms Canadian Armed Forces tracking Russian warships near Cuba

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The Department of National Defence (DND) confirmed to CTV News the Canadian Armed Forces is "tracking the movements and activities" of a fleet of Russian warships that reached Cuban waters on Wednesday.

"The Canadian Armed Forces, alongside its U.S. counterparts, routinely carries out operations (including maritime and air operations) in support of our continental defence mission," a spokesperson for the DND told CTV News.

The DND added that a Royal Canadian Air Force CP-140 Aurora aircraft and HMCS Ville de Quebec "have been observing the Russian flotilla's activities."

"Routinely monitoring the approaches to North America is part of our mandate to defend Canada and North America."

The Russian fleet, which arrived in Cuba ahead of planned military exercises in the Caribbean, is made up of a nuclear-powered submarine, an oil tanker and a rescue tug. They crossed into Havana Bay after drills in the Atlantic Ocean.

Russia is a longtime ally of Cuba, with their relationship dating back to the late '50s following the Cuban revolution.

With files from CTV News Senior Political Correspondent Mike Le Couteur and The Associated Press

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