Moscow announced its intention to create new naval bases
- in the mediterranean sea,
- Asia-Pacific region (APR),
- Indian Ocean
- and Persian Gulf
within the framework of the new Maritime doctrine.
Maritime areas of vital interest
The corresponding decree was signed by the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin on the eve of Navy Day on July 31st.
In doctrine indicatedthat the US course for dominance in the oceans is the main challenge to the national security of the Russian Federation. The doctrine defines zones of “vital interests” where military methods upon exhaustion of diplomatic These zones “are directly related to the development of the state, the protection of its sovereignty, territorial integrity and the strengthening of defense, and critically affect the socio-economic development of the country.”
These include internal sea waters and the territorial sea of the Russian Federation, the exclusive economic zone of the country and its continental shelf, which are separately named:
- Arctic Basin, including water area Northern Sea Route (SMP),
- Sea of Okhotsk
- Russian sector of the Caspian.
Based on the Arctic priorities, the doctrine provides for the expansion of the country’s activities
- on Svalbard,
- Franz Josef Land
- New Earth
- and Wrangel Island.
Named the countries of priority naval cooperation
The document notes the lack of a sufficient number of bases outside the Russian Federation to provide ships and vessels of the Navy, which is a risk to Russia’s security, and proposes creation of logistic support points (PMTO) Russian Navy
- in the Asia Pacific
- in “a number of countries in the Mediterranean region”,
- in the Red Sea
- and the Indian Ocean.
It is also recorded that Russia plans to expand cooperation with Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabiaas well as naval cooperation with India. All of these countries refrain from accusing the Russian Federation in connection with the special operation in Ukraine.
India is the main partner of Russia
India is the most relevant and useful country for maritime and military cooperation due to its membership in the BRICS, SCO and interests in the Arctic.
After February 24, India became the main geopolitical partner of Russia. The two countries are now moving closer both politically and economically. According to Indian statistics, from January to April 2022, the trade turnover between the two countries amounted to 6.4 billion US dollars. This is almost twice as much as in the same period last year. India buys sanctioned Russian hydrocarbons and business, abandoned Western companies.
At the end of 2021, at the summit in New Delhi, military agreements were signed, including on the supply of S-400s, and joint military exercises are being held.
A key agreement on mutual logistics exchange (RELOS) has long been developed and is waiting for its signing, according to which the two countries can use military logistics facilities while visiting each other’s ports, bases and military installations.
India openly called support the Russian vision of the development of the NSR and is interested in the study and development of the Arctic.
India’s interests in the Arctic region are growing, partly to counterbalance China’s ambitions, and in the near future, New Delhi intends to invest, in particular, in the exploration of Russian oil, gas and other rare earth minerals. And for their protection, the support of the Russian Federation in the field of strategic security is required.
Currently, India has no port facilities or naval bases in the Arctic. An agreement such as RELOS will allow the Indian Navy to have greater operational coverage in this region, and Russia in the Indian Ocean, a zone of direct US interests,
Saudi Arabia is rapidly moving away from the United States
Saudi Arabia goes further and further from under the influence of the United States, it was presented on July 29 with the status of a dialogue partner of the SCO (according to rumors, it is also asking for the BRICS). Eight countries are already members of the SCO:
- and Tajikistan,
are preparing to abandon the dollar as a means of payment.
In September 2021, Russia and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement in Moscow on the development of military cooperation. Details were not disclosed. Saudi Arabia has access to both the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea.
Iran cannot let Russia lose to the West
Iran at the September Samarkand SCO summit will become a full-fledged ninth member of the association and has already submitted an application to the BRICS. Vladimir Putin’s visit to Tehran showed last month that relations are entering a new strategic level.
Tehran cannot allow Russia to lose the proxy war in Ukraine with the West, so it will develop military-technical cooperation with the Russian Federation, it is possible that it will also provide its ports in the Persian Gulf for logistic support points (PMTO).
Iraq has a positive attitude towards the Russian Federation for condemning the US intervention in 2003
There is a political crisis in Iraq now, but sentiments towards the Russian Federation in all parties and in society fluctuate from neutral to pro-Russian.
Iraq ordered $1 billion worth of Russian tanks in 2017, adding to its vast stockpile of Russian-made armored vehicles. Iraq also announced in May 2019 that it had decided to buy the Russian S-400 air defense system.
Iraq has access to the Persian Gulf. Although the coastline is tiny, the Gulf is connected by the Strait of Hormuz.
- with the Gulf of Oman
- Arabian Sea
- and the Indian Ocean.
Lavrov probed the soil about naval bases in the Red Sea
Among the countries not named in the doctrine, negotiations on a military base are under way with Sudan. The authorities of this country have not yet dared to ratify the agreement, which provides for permission for Moscow to keep up to four warships on the coast in the Red Sea. In return, Russia would provide Sudan with military equipment and other government assistance.
By the way, in the last African tour foreign minister Sergei Lavrov visited countries that also go to the Red Sea. These are Egypt and Ethiopia. There is also Eritrea, which always votes against anti-Russian resolutions at the UN General Assembly.
As Pravda.Ru said Vice Admiral, Chief of Staff of the Black Sea Fleet, First Deputy Commander of the Navy from 1992 to 1997 Pyotr Svyatashovin the Soviet Union there was a defense naval doctrine, and in Russia there was no such document at all.
“What the president signed is our intentions. We must resolve this issue through diplomatic channels with other countries that are indicated, except for Syria. This document is an impetus for the development of relations and the determination of the places for equipping our technical support centers for naval ships, to this we are forced by the international situation,” the expert said in an interview with Pravda.Ru.
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