Russia to set up task force for permanent deployment in the Mediterranean

Shoigu-Putin

Sergei Shoigu, the new Defense Minister of Russia and one of Putin’s most trusted, has stated in the voice of Russia that he has already given the order for the creation of a new naval Task Force, which is going to be stationed permanently in the Mediterranean, in order to protect “the Country’s interests there”.

And that’s all, he said nothing else he did not proceed into further elaborations, nothing. Let us note that this type of decisions are not like stating, “by the way, we have a new Task Force ready to be deployed in Central Asia”, which would be something natural, as the region is within Moscow’s sphere of influence. Shoigu was talking about the Mediterranean sea and about “Russia’s interests”, he also used the words “theater of operations”, which creates even more questions such as:

a) Is this contingent the same one the Russians were willing to set up in order to help evacuate Russian Citizens out of war torn countries (something like a Delta Force)?

b) Is it Tartus and Syria Shoigu refers to when he says “Russian interests” or maybe is it something more, like Cyprus-Israel region for example? We should remind our readers that yesterday Israel and Russia signed a deal regarding the trading rights of the “Tamar” offshore site.

c) Has Shoigu thought of the repercussions this is going to cause to NATO, which considers the Mediterranean “its highway”? Probably yes he has, but the possibility that NATO can provoke Russia anytime it wants still stays with unimaginable consequences.

d) Which countries constitute future “theater of operations” and on what grounds?

What we can say at the moment is that Russia is expanding in the same way, NATO expanded after the fall of the former Soviet Union, or at least it tries to. Russia has enough problems already in the Caucasus and at some point it needs to resolve outstanding issues such as the Nagorno-Karabagh between Azerbaijan and Armenia and the issue of Transestria in Moldova as well. Then again, Turkey, which is already a NATO country, has made a move to include Kyrgyzstan into its new Turkish oriented TAKM force and Ukraine is about to start sending military vessels within NATO’s framework to counter piracy.

Things are changing day by day, but we will be keeping you posted regarding this issue of Russia’s presence in the Mediterranean sea and how the deal with Israel facilitates such decisions.

Source: http://www.defensehorizon.com affiliated site

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