Lourdes signals intelligence base
Lourdes base in Cuba was one of the Soviet Union's largest foreign intelligence centres GettyImages

Russia is considering reopening Cold War era military bases in Cuba and Vietnam that were closed after the collapse of the Soviet Union, deputy defence minister Nikolay Pankov told RIA news agency.

Pankov said the Russian Ministry of Defence was reassessing the decision to close the bases, but declined to go into more detail.

"We are dealing with this issue," he told Russian news agencies in the State Duma lower house of Russia's parliament.

The Russian colours were lowered at the Lourdes signals intelligence base near Havana, Cuba, and the Cam Ranh naval base in Khánh Hòa province, Vietnam, in the early 2000s – following the collapse of the USSR.

Opened in 1962, the Lourdes base was one of the largest Russian foreign intelligence bases, located less than 93 miles (150 km) from Key West, Florida. A former US naval base, Cam Ranh became one of the main docks for the Soviet Pacific Fleet after the fall of the US backed government in Saigon (Hanoi) to Soviet backed Communists in 1975.

During Vladimir Putin's second presidential term, Russia reasserted its military strength, seizing Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, and launching a campaign in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against western backed rebel groups in 2015.