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What Russia wanted to say its military exercises in the Black sea
Material posted: Publication date: 07-04-2013

After its participation in the BRICS summit held on 28 March 2013 in South Africa, the President of Russia Putin gave the order about carrying out military exercises in the Black sea.

At his command, warships moved out of the Ukrainian Sevastopol Bay. It was reported that in the three-day maneuvers in the Russian territorial waters were involved in 36 warships and over 7 thousand troops. Press Secretary of President Putin Dmitry Peskov has declared that, proceeding from international practice, prior notification of riparian countries of the Black sea to hold exercises was not considered necessary, as the number of troops does not exceed 7 thousand.

Peskov clarified that the aim of the exercise was to strengthen the military power of the Navy of Russia, using the following wording: "The largest of the exercise is to validate the abilities of our fleet to achieve the targets in case of war". Indeed, after the August 2008 war in Georgia broke out the discussion on the issue of modernization of the Russian army. However, according to some analysts, after the Georgian war became the obvious weakness of the Russian army, intending to retain control over the former Soviet region.

Last month the Russian army has held unscheduled military exercises in which the armed forces participated in the Central and inner parts of the country. The chief of the General staff of the Armed forces of Russia Valery Gerasimov said that through these exercises identified a number of systemic errors and omissions in the army. We can say that Russia with Putin is acting in accordance with the continuity of previous responses, and makes considerable investments in terms of military spending and the modernization of the army. In addition, modernization of the army within the next 10 years, Moscow had formed a budget of 600 billion euros. Also, the recent exercises are intended to be a showcase of the restored image of the Russian army, which had been criticized for ineffectiveness during the war in Georgia.

The reflection of the black sea military exercise in the Mediterranean region

We can say that these teachings are interregional message considering the agreement among the countries of the black sea about relationships and maintaining stability in the Black sea. Based on the fact that some new phenomena have a place in the middle East and the Syrian crisis, it is more useful to pay attention to the middle East and the Mediterranean, not the Black sea.

As if Recalling this, last month because of the conflict in Syria, Moscow has adopted a decision on the permanent presence of combat vessels in the Mediterranean sea, and this decision caused a heated debate. Some experts have described the Kremlin's decision as a "step forward Russia's return to the Mediterranean", and other writers noted that "Russia has no forces here to keep the ships". The decision to hold military exercises in the Black sea, taken on Board of the plane on the way to the BRICS summit, reports thus, the message that the army and the armed forces Russia strong enough to protect its geopolitical role and are ready for possible war scenarios.

In the current situation of the civil war that progresses for more than two years, the basis of Russian foreign policy founded on the desire to prevent foreign intervention. Moscow, aiming to implement a plan to sit at the same table through political dialogue in Syria between supporters and opponents of the regime, to comply with the terms of the Geneva agreement, signed after a meeting in June 2012, and intends to bring the positions of international actors to a common denominator.

When 13 Feb 2013 the foreign Ministers of the countries of the League of Arab States met with Russian foreign Minister Lavrov, they agreed to a compromise, agreeing with the idea that the representatives of the regime and its opponents will be to negotiate. However, the fact that at the recent Arab League summit, President of the National coalition for Syrian revolutionary and opposition forces MoAZ al-Khatib was given the empty chair of Syria, speaks of the futility of Russia's attempts at evaluating them in the context of diplomatic isolation of Assad's regime. The representative of the Russian foreign Ministry Alexander Lukashevich expressed in comments, the opinion that the accepted LAG decisions are contrary to the common understanding of the need and ways for a peaceful political settlement in Syria, which, in particular, takes place in the framework of the Geneva agreement "of the action Group on Syria of 30 June 2012.

In addition to providing the empty chair of Syria at the Arab League summit, the leader of the opposition, the Kremlin's attention in the presence of subjects, both global and regional level, attract the attempts of Britain and France to lift the EU embargo on arms supplies to Syria. Moreover, it was emphasized that according to the concept of foreign policy, revised and published last month, Russian foreign policy activity will focus on the elements of "soft power"; it is obvious that the elements of "hard power" will retain its rigidity at least in the short term. Similarly, Moscow relies on economic and military power to be "an influential subject of international relations", referring to the bitter memories of the real experience of the Balkans of the 1990s and the inability of Russia then to prevent unilateral initiatives of the Western countries. From the same point of view, Russia for which to be part of the solution to the Syrian crisis is just as important, it considers it possible according to the requirement of "great power" to negotiate with the United States and members of the EU and NATO.


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