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Crimea is not the end of Russia’s ambitions, she wants to control all the Black sea – the US Admiral

Stavridis: NATO should expand its program of visiting ports, conducting exercises and training missions in the Black sea

Photo: EPA

Annexed Crimea is not the end of the black sea ambitions. This writes in an article for Bloomberg, the former commander of the United armed forces of NATO in Europe, Admiral U.S. retired James Stavridis.

“From the point of view of geopolitics, the Northern coast of Turkey, is extremely important Straits separating the Aegean and Black seas and the coastline of several other NATO allies – all are under pressure of the Russian Navy, much of which is from Sevastopol”, – he said.

According to Stavridis, as soon as Russia will strengthen control over the bases on the Syrian coast, it will have extraordinary naval influence in the region that will be a challenge for NATO.

“There are significant economic incentives for Russia to challenge NATO and Alliance partners. Russia desperately wants to have the ability to control the Black sea economic terms in peacetime while remaining ready to dominate the region in the event of conflict with the West,” – said the Admiral.

He urged NATO to extend its programme of visits to ports in Romania, Turkey, Bulgaria and Georgia and occupied part of Ukraine, spending in the region more exercises and training missions.

In addition, according to Stavridis, NATO should develop a programme of action for emergency situations for naval operations in the Black sea.

He added that the United States should more often visit the Black sea and to cooperate more closely with Turkey, they can also encourage Western companies to invest in Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine.

Russia annexed Crimea after the illegal referendum on 16 March 2014. The annexation of Crimea by Russia is not recognised by Ukraine and most countries of the world.

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