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The US has developed a plan to “contain” Russia in the Black Sea

Once again, the USA declared the need to contain Russia in the Black Sea region. This time, the initiative belongs to experts from the government think tank. The US has developed a plan to “contain” Russia in the Black Sea

The US has developed a plan to “contain” Russia in the Black Sea

hey proposed deploying air defense systems and coastal missile systems in Romania and Bulgaria, as well as expanding NATO exercises in the region. In the spring, similar initiatives were already discussed in the North Atlantic Alliance.

The American government analytical centre RAND Corporation published on its official website a report on the strategy of “containment” of Russia in the Black Sea region. Experts prepared this document based on the results of a thematic seminar, which was held in Romanian Bucharest at the end of March.

The authors expressed concern that recently the Russian side has modernized the Black Sea Fleet and increased its strength in the Southern Military District.
They called the Black Sea region a centre of competition between Russia and the West for the future of Europe. Experts drew attention to the aggravation of tension in relations between Turkey with the United States and the European Union, which takes place against the background of the completion of the construction of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline and Akkuyu NPP in the south of the country.

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In addition, they recalled the activity of Moscow in the Sea of ​​Azov, where ships were detained in the last six months.

According to the authors of the report, in order to counteract the “growing Russian influence” in the region, it is necessary to deploy air defense systems and coastal missile systems in Romania and Bulgaria. Other expert suggestions included the expansion of NATO exercises and assistance in developing the defense capabilities of Ukraine and Georgia.
Recently, the Alliance has been constantly raising the issue of counteracting the “Russian threat”. This was discussed at the beginning of April. Following the results of the first NATO session at the level of Foreign Ministers, Secretary-General of the military-political bloc Jens Stoltenberg said that the organization’s member countries have agreed on a “package of measures” in the Black Sea, which involves support for Ukraine and Georgia in response to Russia's “behaviour”.
“We agreed on a package of measures that will improve our awareness of the situation, increase support to Ukraine and Georgia in such areas as training of naval forces and coastguards, calls at ports, as well as exercises and exchange of information,” he said.
Stoltenberg said that participants in the meeting discussed further actions of the alliance that could increase security in the Black Sea region. The Secretary-General once again recalled the annexation of Crimea by Russia, calling it “annexation”, and noted that for this Moscow used force and continues to build up military power throughout the region. At the same time, the Russian side regularly emphasizes that the peninsula became part of the country legally in accordance with international agreements.
According to Stoltenberg, at the time of his speech, one of the NATO naval groups patrolled the Black Sea and conducted exercises with Ukrainian and Georgian ships.
“Thus, we maintain our attention and presence in this vital region,” he explained.
A day earlier, the Permanent Representative of the United States to NATO, Kay Bailey Hutchison, spoke about this “package of measures”. She stated that Russia continues to destabilize the situation in the Black Sea region and called it "absolutely unacceptable" to detain three Ukrainian warships in the Kerch Strait, as well as to keep seamen from these ships under arrest. At the same time, Moscow explains that the Russian border guards had no other options for behaviour in this situation since the ships illegally crossed the state border of the Russian Federation.
Hutchison noted that this “package of measures” will include, among other things, air surveillance and the sending of more ships of NATO countries to the Black Sea. “This is a package that strengthens intelligence, aerial reconnaissance, as well as increasing the number of NATO ships sent to the Black Sea to guarantee the safe passage of Ukrainian vessels through the Kerch Strait to the Sea of ​​Azov,” she explained.
As noted by the American Permanent Representative, NATO needs to be done in such a way as to protect the Black Sea for the countries of this region from Russia's "obsession." She drew attention to the fact that the Russian side deployed weapons in the Crimea, and once again recalled that Washington considers the peninsula part of Ukraine. “And it is very important that Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine, as well as Georgia, be protected in the Black Sea,” said the Permanent Representative.
At the same time, Russia is convinced that by "deterring Russian aggression" NATO is only covering up its presence at the borders of the Russian Federation.
This was announced last October by the head of the Russian Ministry of Defense Sergey Shoigu. He drew attention to the fact that recently the alliance’s activity at the Russian borders has reached an unprecedented level since the Cold War. The Minister noted that the bloc’s policy is aimed at strengthening its advanced military presence on the eastern flank.
In addition, the head of the department drew attention to the fact that NATO has increased intelligence activity in the Baltic and in the Black Sea region. “Only this year [2018], the Russian airborne forces flew to intercept potential violators of the state border more than 120 times,” said Shoigu.

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