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[Including Egypt] Resurgent Russia Takes On US Unilateralism With Reclaimed Former Soviet Bases

Sunday, October 16, 2016 7:57
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…media reports cited Russia’s plans to return to a former Soviet air force
base in the Egyptian city of Sidi Barrani
Resurgent Russia Takes On US Unilateralism With Reclaimed Former Soviet
Russia’s move to restore former Soviet military bases abroad is in line with
the country’s new Maritime Doctrine and aims “to increase the autonomy of
Russia’s naval presence in the World Ocean,” according to RIA Novosti
political analyst Alexander Khrolenko.
10:12 16.10.2016(updated 10:20 16.10.2016)

Won’t Be in Grand Soviet Style

RIA Novosti political analyst Alexander Khrolenko believes that Russia’s
foreign military bases are in sync with the country’s Maritime Doctrine and
help “boost the autonomy of the Russian naval presence in the World Ocean.”

His remarks came after Russian Deputy Defense Minister Nikolay Pankov said
on Monday that Moscow will establish a permanent naval base in the Syrian
port city of Tartus, home to a Russian Navy maintenance and support facility
which was established by the Soviet Union in 1977. Pankov also said that the
Russian Defense Ministry was looking into reestablishing Russian bases in
Cuba and Vietnam.

In addition, media reports cited Russia’s plans to return to a former Soviet
air force base in the Egyptian city of Sidi Barrani. Referring to Russia,
Khrolenko explained that the naval bases abroad ensure the safety of the
country’s major sea lanes and increase the navy’s combat capability by
bringing missiles closer to the strategic areas of the potential enemy.
According to him, the naval bases add to the more effective deployment of
warships across the World Ocean, helping to focus on “potentially dangerous
areas and crisis regions.”

“The foreign naval bases do not only indicate the status of the country, but
also contribute to its sustainable economic growth and the safe development
of ocean resources.

These bases can be called a military and diplomatic instrument to strengthen
national and international security,” he pointed out.

Khrolenko recalled that since the end of the last century, Russia has
pursued peaceful policies.

Meanwhile, a significant proportion of US and NATO military operations were
conducted without the UN’s approval, including operations in Serbia,
Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. “Obviously, Russia should
rely on its navy and aerospace forces rather than the West’s favor when it
comes to the struggle for a brighter future,” Khrolenko said.

In addition, the permanent presence of the Russian Navy in the Mediterranean
is something that is endorsed by Syria, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen,
according to him. “In the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Russia is successfully
strengthening its military cooperation with the naval forces of India and
China,” he added.

Khrolenko specifically drew attention to the fact that the navy remains the
basis of Russia’s maritime potential and that naval activity is related to
the top state priorities.

“Russia’s new Maritime Doctrine underscores the importance of the country’s
adequate and permanent naval presence in the World Ocean. In this sense, the
naval bases increase the autonomy of such a presence,” he pointed out.

In an interview with Sputnik earlier this month, editor-in-chief of National
Defense Magazine Igor Korotchenko described Russia’s decision to establish a
full-scale base in Tartus as a “powerful move.” He said that first and
foremost, the base will help to protect Russia’s national interests and
improve the country’s geopolitical standing in the Middle East. He also said
that the base in Tartus will provide a “reliable support area” to the
Russian naval forces deployed to the region.

“A full-scale base will help to improve logistical and technical support for
our naval assets,” he explained.

Along with the Hmeymim airbase in nearby Latakia, Syria, the base in Tartus
“will enhance Russia’s foreign and defense policies,” Korotchenko said,
adding that they will also help to “neutralize any threats.”

Russian introduced its new naval doctrine in June 2015. According to the
document, Crimea, the Arctic and the Atlantic and as well as cooperation
between Russia and China in the Pacific are becoming key priorities for
Russia. According to Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, the main reasons
for adopting amendments to Russia’s maritime doctrine of 2001 are “the
changes of international affairs” and the consolidation of Russia as a
maritime power.


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