In order to account for the changing geopolitical and security environment worldwide, Moscow has amended its naval doctrine.
A new Russian naval doctrine that takes into account the “change in the geopolitical and military-strategic situation in the world” was approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday. Moscow’s aspirations in the maritime sector are detailed in the new policy paper.
1. Where do Russia’s national interests extend?
Russia’s national interests “as a great naval power extend to the entire world’s oceans and the Caspian Sea,” a landlocked sea on Russia’s southern border, are specifically stated in the updated doctrine. Moscow tries to advance its interests in accordance with “universally recognized principles and norms of international law,” while also taking into account the interests of other nations.
2. What is seen as the main threat to Russia?
The document lists a number of “challenges and threats” that Russia is currently experiencing in the naval domain, most of which are connected to the actions of Washington and its allies. The doctrine names the encroachment of “NATO military infrastructure” on the nation’s borders as well as “the strategic course of the US to dominate in the world oceans” as concerns.
3. What about overseas naval bases?
The lack of foreign naval resupply stations and bases, which are essential for extending the operational range of the Russian Navy, is acknowledged in the document. The doctrine, however, calls for the construction of such a facility in the Red Sea.
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4. Will Russia get aircraft carriers?
A new shipbuilding plant will be built as part of the doctrine in Russia’s Far East. The shipyard will be used to construct both “modern aircraft carriers for the Navy” and “large-capacity vessels,” such as ships appropriate “for the development of the Arctic.” The Admiral Kuznetsov cruiser, the sole aircraft-carrying navy warship in Russia at the moment, has been out of operation and undergoing repairs for a number of years.
5. Will there be a focus on the Arctic?
Although there are other “regional branches” of the doctrine’s maritime policy, the Arctic region seems to receive special emphasis. According to the document, Russia acknowledges the Arctic from both a “military standpoint” and as a region for international economic competition. Increasing the nation’s military power in the area, taking advantage of natural resources offshore, and expanding the Northern Sea Route are all part of the plan to make it a “safe, year-round and globally competitive Russian national shipping route.”
6. What are the ‘important’ regions for Russia?
Besides detailing the country’s “vital” regional areas, such as the Arctic, Northern Sea Route, Caspian Sea, and, more broadly, domestic waters and continental shelf regions, the doctrine also identifies “important” zones, which it characterizes as those that “significantly impact the economic development, the material wellbeing of the population and the national security” of the country. These areas include the Azov and Black Seas and Eastern Mediterranean, as well as the straits near the Kuril Islands, and Baltic and Black Seas. The doctrine plans to increase the Black Sea fleet’s overall size as well as construct new naval facilities in southern Krasnodar and the Crimean peninsula.
7. What does the doctrine say about using military force?
Should all diplomatic means fail, Russia retains the right to defend its maritime interests by the use of military force, the document states. ”In order to protect its national interests in the world oceans, Russia exercises its indisputable right to the presence of the naval forces and their use in strict accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation, international treaties and international law,” the doctrine states.