Ekaterina Blinova – Russia is growing its maritime potential, signaling its intention to regain geopolitical power as a naval force, according to experts.
In the midst of withstanding NATO expansion in Eastern Europe and closely observing its national interests in the Middle East, Russia is also strengthening its military presence off its eastern coasts – in the Pacific region – where the geopolitical interests of Moscow and Beijing are overlapping.
Experts point out that for Russia and China the American pivot to East Asia and the Asia-Pacific poses a serious challenge. At the same time both Moscow and Beijing are in territorial disputes with Tokyo; with the balance of power in the Korean peninsula also viewed by the two global players as a guarantee for stability in the region. Continue reading
A fleet of Russian warships continued to steam south closer to the G20 host city of Brisbane on Thursday as experts stressed the show of force was aimed at the world as a whole, not just Australia.
Reports indicate that Australia is sending two additional warships to its surveillance mission, with supply ship the HMAS Sirius joining the HMAS Parramatta and HMAS Stuart, and the HMAS Sydney preparing to also potentially join them.
Defence sources said the four ships, which include the Pacific flagship missile cruiser Varyag, were on a course that would put them in international waters off Brisbane by the time the international gathering gets under way on the weekend. Continue reading
Large-scale U.S. military exercises held as Russia re-opens Arctic naval base
An Army rapid deployment force will practice securing the Pentagon’s strategic missile defenses base in Alaska this week as part of annual exercises involving both conventional and nuclear forces.
Defense officials said an Army Quick Reaction Force (QRF) of 55 airborne troops, along with weapons and vehicles, will parachute into Fort Greely, Alaska, on Thursday as part of exercises called Vigilant Shield.
The QRF, made up of highly-trained, extremely mobile forces, will quickly unpack vehicles and arms and move to set up a security perimeter around the Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI) field at the base—all within minutes of hitting the ground, said officials familiar with some details of the exercise. The exercises will continue through Oct. 28. Continue reading
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s state television says two Russian warships have left a northern Iranian port after the two countries held a joint, three-day naval exercise in the Caspian Sea. Continue reading
THE RUSSIAN MILITARY will now be given full use of a Cypriot airbase and the main port at Limassol.
According to the Ministry of Defence in Nicosia the use of the Andreas Papandreou airbase will be only used for ‘emergency scenarios’ and humanitarian missions, but the move highlights growing co-operation between Russia and Cyprus.
As it stands, a Russian presence in the region is only made possible by the survival of the Assad government, with Moscow still hanging on to their personnel from the naval base in Tartus. Continue reading
Russian naval vessels in the Mediterranean are capable of reacting to an escalation in the Syria conflict, a military source said Wednesday, as Moscow fine tunes its maritime presence ahead of possible US military action.
“Today we consider our presence in the eastern Mediterranean to be sufficient to solve the tasks. If necessary, together with submarine forces, they (the ships) are capable even today of influencing a military situation,” a general staff source told the Interfax news agency. Continue reading
Deputy Commander of the Iranian Navy Rear Admiral Gholam-Reza Khadem Bigham says Iran will continue dispatching more naval fleets to Russia.
Khadem on Saturday pointed to the recent dispatch of an Iranian naval fleet to the Russian port city of Astrakhan and said, “We should expect the continuation of the process and the sending of other naval groups.” Continue reading
LARNARCA, Cyprus, June 24 (UPI) — Financially strapped Cyprus is looking at allowing Russian military aircraft to use an airbase in Paphos, the country’s defense minister said this weekend.
Cypriot Defense Minister Fotis Fotiu told the Nicosia daily Fileleftheros the country was “studying the possibility of providing in certain cases” the use of the Andreas Papandreou Air Force Base for Russian military aircraft. Continue reading
CNN has learned that U.S. intelligence agencies have identified three Russian amphibious warships in the eastern Mediterranean that are believed to be carrying weapons shipments that might be used to resupply the Syrian regime, according to a Pentagon official.
The United States has been tracking the ships since they left Russian ports several days ago. U.S. satellites were able to see some indications of containers being loaded onto the ships. Although it’s not confirmed, it’s believed the ships may be carrying some components of the controversial Russian S-300 air defense missile system and other weapons for the regime. Continue reading
President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation has drawn a line in the sand over Syria, the government of which he is determined to protect from overthrow. Not since the end of the Cold War in 1991 has the Russian Bear asserted itself so forcefully beyond its borders in support of claims on great power status. In essence, Russia is attempting to play the role in Syria that France did in Algeria in the 1990s, of supporting the military government against rebels, many of them linked to political Islam. France and its allies prevailed, at the cost of some 150,000 dead. Can Putin and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad pull off the same sort of victory?
Even as Damascus pushes back against the rebels militarily, Putin has swung into action on the international and regional stages. The Russian government persuaded U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to support an international conference aimed at a negotiated settlement. Putin upbraided Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his country’s air attacks on Damascus. Moscow is sending sophisticated anti-aircraft batteries, anti-submarine missiles and other munitions to beleaguered Assad, and has just announced that 12 Russian warships will patrol the Mediterranean. The Russian actions have raised alarums [sic] in Tel Aviv and Washington, even as they have been praised in Damascus and Tehran. Continue reading
From the state-owned (FSB/KGB) propaganda outlet, RIA Novosti:
MOSCOW, May 21 (RIA Novosti) – Two warships of Russia’s Black Sea fleet joined the country’s Mediterranean task force on Monday, a spokesman for the Russian Black Sea Fleet, Capt. First Rank Vyacheslav Trukhachyov, has said. Continue reading
When Angela Merkel – to cut out the middlemen – feels entitled to arrest the bank accounts of individuals and institutions in another country and help herself to 10 per cent of their deposits, then the rule of law has become a folk memory in German-occupied Europe. Is this what was meant by negative interest rates? The sheer irresponsibility of risking a bank run, not just in Cyprus but potentially in Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and everywhere else the dominoes might topple, betrays the stupidity of those shoring-up the deluded euro project. Continue reading
Russia has been a close ally of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad and has strategic and economic interests in the country.
The Defense Ministry said the landing ships Kaliningrad and Alexander Shabalin are en route to the region from the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk. Two other big landing ships, the Saratov and the Azov, are scheduled to join them by the end of February. Continue reading
Russian warships set out Tuesday, Dec. 18, for two Middle East flashpoint destinations: Naval sources in Moscow reported that two assault ships, a tanker and an escort vessel were detached from the Baltic Fleet and are sailing for the Syrian port of Tartus – possibly to evacuate Russian citizens. A second naval group led by Russia’s largest anti-submarine vessel, the Severomorsk, is on its way to the Gulfs of Aden and Oman close to the Persian Gulf and Iran. Continue reading
Russian warships docked at a naval base in Syria, according to reports on Wednesday, further separating Moscow from Western actions in the war-torn country.
The two ships made a rare call at the port in Tartus, Russia’s only remaining international military base since the Soviet Union collapsed, according to AFP and Interfax reports. Russian authorities claim the stop was only to load fuel and water and make “minor repairs.” This is the second time the Russian Navy has raised eyebrows in recent weeks, following reports that it docked warships off the coast of Gaza in late November, during the height of the fighting there with Israel. Continue reading