Russia is testing NATO and Ukraine in the Black Sea

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — In Russia, they plan to “keep order” around the clock in the Black Sea. It is for this purpose that the Russian Ministry of Defense recently purchased drones for Crimea for reconnaissance and patrolling the occupied peninsula.

According to the Russians, this will allow to take control of a significant part of the Black Sea. Likewise, the tightening of control is also directly related to the restrictions that Russia imposed on almost a quarter of the Black Sea, thereby blocking shipping routes to Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania and Ukraine.

Of course, Russia is currently trying to activate in the Black Sea basin. However, you need to look at this situation a little wider. Indeed, the activation of the presence of the Russian fleet is observed not only there – just look at the situation in the Arctic, the Baltic states, the Far East … Therefore, you should not take the Black Sea separately as a theater of some potential actions. Rather, it is an element of the general system of preparing Russia for a possible “short-term victorious war.” And these actions should be perceived either as part of the preparatory strategy, or, as an option, as part of a strategy of intimidation and blackmail, which today is a serious tool of Russian foreign policy.

From an economic point of view, Russia, as the American writer aptly called it, is a gas station country. But, nevertheless, she has a very significant tool of intimidation – nuclear weapons. And it is with this argument that Russia is testing its neighbors for strength. On the other hand, in the Black Sea itself, Russia’s actions should be perceived only as provocative. After all, Crimea is de facto occupied, but they consider it their own, and therefore they build closed zones around it. This is a test: both us and NATO are experiencing a reaction. Russia probably thinks this: “Well, we have declared certain sections of the Black Sea closed. So what? What will be the reaction? Swallowed – let’s move on. Not swallowed – we will take into account.”

Unfortunately, we cannot respond with weapons. Ukraine and NATO should respond only in one way – by strengthening the presence of NATO member countries in the Black Sea. So that the American, British, Turkish flotillas, over and over again, constantly, call into the Black Sea, visit Ukrainian and Georgian ports, and so that Russia does not have the feeling that she is the mistress. Indeed, if you take a closer look at what happens after the capture of the Crimea, it looks like no other way than to prove to everyone that it controls the Black Sea. And we need to prevent this with both practical and diplomatic measures.


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