Those are the aforementioned “Interests in the Mediterranean”-Further deployment of Russian Navy

HMS Nottingham sails past the Russian cruiser RFS Moskva.

Yesterday we published an opinion on Sergei Shoigu’s strange statements regarding the make up of a task force which is meant to be deployed anywhere in the Mediterranean, in order to protect Russia’s interests. Rightfully we kept wondering about what the Russian Defense Minister meant by saying the above phrase, as besides Tartus, Russia did not, up to very recently, have any other interests in the Mediterranean, which by the way, as highlighted, is termed by the Americans as “The Highway” leading to the Middle East.

Recent developments have shed further light on the story, as RIA NOVOSTI today announced Sergei Shoigu’s intentions of permanently deploying a contingent of at least 10 vessels from mixed fleets (Nordic, Baltic, Black Sea), which are going to be permanently touring around the Mediterranean and resupplying in Greece, Cyprus, Montenegro and Syria. Of course everyone understood that when Shoigu spoke of making up a contingent in order to protect interests in the Mediterranean, he was not referring to Syria, or at least solely to Syria, but to the Mediterranean as a whole. Russia, given the unbelievably hard situations, has made a rather “bold” move, which can pay off, especially if Greece’s DEPA is taken over by Russian companies, but on the other hand the Country’s navy will be circling inside NATO’s territory.

From now on, every possible option is open, just like the Cold War times (Soviet Union’s fifth Mediterranean squadron was deployed in the Mediterranean to counter US’s 6th fleet). Needless to say that the decision was not taken by Medvedev’s Siloviki, the softliners, but rather by the hardcore ones, who have reached their limits counting on a restart with the West, which pragmatically speaking is never going to take place.

Moscow’s infiltration in EU-NATO territory was shown crystal clear recently when Borisov, Bulgaria’s ex PM, stepped down, coincidentally after having spoken with Vladimir Putin on the phone the previous night. The “Der Spiegel” German magazine is prompting Europe to brace for more resignations as citizens are “reacting to austerity measures”, but as far as citizens are concerned we all know that there was more to it than “over-austerity”. Plus, it happened in Bulgaria because of high electricity prices, which fell as sharply as they rose after Borisov’s resignation. So, what austerity?

Russia’s comeback in the global scenery has been “with a vengeance” this time and one cannot blame solely Moscow for that. Russia was cut off from Libya first and then sabotaged in Syria, where its only base in the Mediterranean is located. On top of everything NATO lied upon signing the Lisbon treaty and decided to go ahead with a Ballistic Missile Defense shield on European soil, ex Warsaw pact to be honest, denying at the same time to give assurances that it will not be turned against Moscow. That said, “The Bear’s” reaction should have been expected and not downplayed at the level it was underestimated. Moscow’s stance has a scent of “August 2008” only this time, the “emanating testosterone” is much worse. Putin can no longer appease the Siviliki, thereby one can only conclude that the worst is still to come!

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