MOSCOW, (BM) – Exercise Sea Shield 21 began in the Black Sea. Russia decided to monitor it closely and sent all six of its Black Sea Fleet submarines to the area. This news was announced on March 19 by the Russian edition of The Moscow Times.
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Vice-Admiral Igor Osipov, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, sees nothing strange in these actions. According to him, the submarines sent to monitor the ongoing exercise in the Black Sea are performing military tasks in the area. “None of the submarines are at their base,” RIA Novosti quoted Osipov as saying.
Captain 1st Rank Anatoly Varochkin described the deployment of the six Russian submarines as unprecedented. He is the commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet underwater. Varochkin added that such a thing does not happen with the Russian fleets or those of foreign countries.
Naval Shield 21 is between Romania and NATO allies
The Sea Shield exercise is not being held for the first time. It is part of the operational training of Romania’s navy and NATO allies. This year, the alliance’s 18 warships, ten aircraft, and about 2,400 troops are involved—Romania is the exercise leader.
NATO is participating with warships from Spain, Turkey, Bulgaria, and Romania. The exercise will focus on the coasts and ports of Turkey and the Republic of Georgia.
Russia and the sphere of influence
Although Captain 1st Rank Anatoly Varochkin described the six submarines’ deployment as unprecedented, this is not the first time that Russia has closely monitored NATO’s actions.
Russia sees NATO as a real threat as the alliance undertakes a significant increase in its influence in the east. At the same time, NATO believes that the coalition’s real threat is the Russian missiles stationed in the Baltic exclave between Poland and Lithuania.
During the Cold War between East and West, the United States began to play a greater and more significant NATO command role. NATO then directed the actions against the Soviet Union. NATO cut ties with Russia in 2014 when Moscow took military action against Kyiv and annexed Crimea.
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