• Russia Plans To Consolidate Crimea, Permanently Expand Navy To Atlantic Ocean

    The Kremlin unveiled a new Navy strategy Sunday which aims to permanently place Russian forces in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea as a response to NATO’s “inadmissible” expansion in Eastern Europe.

    According to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, the reason why President Vladimir Putin signed off on the new strategy was because of NATO’s expansionist policies, which present a threat to Russia’s western borders, AFP reports.

    “Our attention towards the Atlantic is justified by the expansion of NATO in the East,” Rogozin stated.

    In February, two months after the Kremlin issued a major update to its military doctrine, NATO stated it planned to build six new command centers in Eastern Europe in order to keep a watchful eye on Russian activities in Ukraine.

    On the same day, the Russian Navy rolled out a new spy ship, Yury Ivanov, designed to monitor U.S. anti-missile activities. A second ship is expected to be released next year. Russia already has spy ships, but the previous models were constructed in the 1980s and don’t stand a chance against the U.S. fleet. Each of the four Russian fleets will likely receive an Ivanov ship in the coming years.

    “These changes show that Russia pays particular attention to the reinforcement of its naval potential in the Arctic and the Atlantic to counter NATO,” military expert Alexander Golts said on the Moscow Echos radio station, according to AFP.

    The strategy also consolidates Crimea, a Ukrainian peninsula seized by Russia in early 2014, with Navy infrastructure investments.

    Russia further intends to seize opportunities in the Arctic. Rogozin announced an investment of $4.3 billion to explore energy opportunities in the region and the potential for full access to the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The idea is to complete the program by 2020.

    “The Arctic grants easy unlimited access to the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. And of course, it is the richness of the continental shelf that requires careful attention in its development,” Rogozin added.

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