Maldives, in Indian Ocean, signs a pact with Soviets

The Soviet Union and the remote Indian Ocean island republic of the Maldives signed a cultural and scientific agreement here Sunday. Under the agreement, the Soviet Union has offered to help improve the islands' communications, television, tourism, and radio engineering, a government announcement said.

Former Maldives President Ibrahim Nasir in 1977 rejected a Soviet offer of $1 million a year to lease the former British air base on Gan, in the southern Maldives, as a repair base for Soviet fishing fleets in the Indian Ocean.

Strategically important, Gan is less than 300 miles from the US Diego Garcia military base in the Indian Ocean.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.