The Latvian media had reported that Russia was in talks to buy the Liepaja naval base in western Latvia, one of the former Soviet Union`s key naval installations. The Russian navy pulled out in 1994 when Moscow withdrew its troops from Latvia after the Baltic state regained its independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991. The hulks of old submarines scuttled by Russian troops can still be seen rusting in the port`s waters. The leading newspaper Diena also quoted Liepaja officials as saying they were "perplexed" about reports Russia wanted to buy the base. Arkadi Volski, president of the Association of Russian Industrialists and Businessmen, had been reported as saying Russia should get the base back, and encouraging the Russian government to buy it. Liepaja was part of the huge Soviet military network that made the three Baltic states a key part of its Western defence system.