President Vladimir Putin signed this Sunday a new naval doctrine that places the United States as Russia’s main rival and establishes Russia’s global maritime ambitions in crucial areas such as the Arctic and the Black Sea.
In his speech on the occasion of the Navy Day In the former imperial capital of St. Petersburg, founded by Tsar Peter the Great, Putin praised Peter for having made Russia a great maritime power and increasing the world position of the Russian state.
After inspecting the navy, Putin made a short speech in which he promised what he touted as Russia’s unique Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missiles, warning that Russia had the military strength to defeat any potential aggressor.
Shortly before the speech, he signed a new 55 page naval doctrinewhich sets out the broad strategic goals of the Russian navy, including its ambitions as a “great maritime power” that stretch across the globe.
The main threat to Russia, according to the doctrine, is “the strategic policy of the United States to dominate the world’s oceans” and the approach of the NATO military alliance to the Russian borders.
“Russia’s independent domestic and foreign policy faces countermeasures from the United States and its allies, who seek to preserve their dominance in the world, including its oceans,” says the doctrine.
Russia can use its military force in a way appropriate to the situation in the world’s oceans in case other soft powers, such as diplomatic and economic tools, are exhausted, the doctrine says.
new military bases
The document announces plans to create new military bases in the Mediterranean Sea, the Asia-Pacific region, the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf.
Moscow looks like the The “main risk” for its Navy is the lack of sufficient bases outside its borders that can receive and supply its ships and carry out repair and technical maintenance tasks.
In addition to guaranteeing the permanent presence of the Russian fleet at the Tartus naval base in Syria, Moscow wants to develop naval maintenance centers “in the territory of other countries in the region”including African and Middle Eastern countries.
These bases will also be opened in countries of the Pacific and Indian basins, and in the Red Sea, with whose countries Russia has been trying for years to forge strategic cooperation as an alternative to its traditional European partners, with whom it is confronted by the military campaign in Ukraine.
The Kremlin is preparing to solve one of the main shortcomings of its fleet for decades, the construction of aircraft carriers.
In particular, the doctrine mentions the interest in develop military-naval cooperation with India, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
Putin did not mention the invasion of Ukraine during his speechbut the military doctrine provides for a “comprehensive strengthening of Russia’s geopolitical position” in the Black and Azov seas.
“We have openly marked the borders and areas of Russia’s national interests, both economic and strategic, which are vital,” Putin said when speaking on Army Day.
It is also noted the Arctic Oceanwhich the United States has repeatedly said that Russia is trying to militarize, as an area of special importance to Russia, where it will try to strengthen its leadership position in the exploration of its mineral resources and maintain “strategic stability” in that area reinforcing the potential of the Northern and Pacific fleets.
It also mentioned Russia’s desire to develop a “safe and competitive” sea route from Europe to Asia, known as the Northeast Passage, through the country’s Arctic coast, and ensure its operation throughout the year.
“Today’s Russia cannot exist without a strong fleet… and will firmly and resolutely defend its interests in the world’s oceans”, added the doctrine.
Putin added in his speech: “Primarily, it concerns our Arctic zone, the waters of the Black, Okhotsk and Bering seas, and the Baltic and Kuril straits.” media,” he stressed.
The vast Russian coastline of 37,650 km, stretching from the Sea of Japan to the White Sea, also includes the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.
Putin said the delivery of Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missiles to the Admiral Gorshkov frigate would begin within a few months. Where they are deployed will depend on Russian interests, he said. “The key here is the capacity of the Russian military… It is capable of responding with lightning speed to anyone who decides to attack our sovereignty and freedom.”
Hypersonic weapons can travel at nine times the speed of sound, and Russia has conducted test launches of Zircon from warships and submarines in the past year.
In Crimea, Sevastopol Governor Mikhail Razvozhayev said Ukrainian forces attacked the Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters in the Russian-controlled port city early on Sunday, wounding five staff members.
(With information from Reuters, AFP and EFE)
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