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Russia’s new maritime doctrine to threaten Georgia?

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, July 28
Moscow put amendments in its maritime doctrine that has already been confirmed by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, Russian media reads. Georgian analysts believe that the new Russian marine policy might target the Black Sea region and Georgia as well.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said that the reasons for the adoption of the new maritime doctrine are changes in the international political situation and the objective strengthening of Russia as a great naval power.

"The determining factor in relations with NATO remains unacceptable to Russia plans of the alliance to advance its military infrastructure to [Russian] borders," the doctrine reads.

“In the Black and Azov seas, the bases of national maritime policy are the accelerated recovery and comprehensive strengthening of Russia’s strategic positions, [as well as] the maintenance of peace and stability in the region,” the doctrine reads based on Stutnik

The regional section of Russia’s national maritime policy calls for “ensuring sufficient naval presence of the Russian Federation in the [Mediterranean] region on a permanent basis.”

As part of the strategic framework, the doctrine also calls for the improvement of the Black Sea Fleet and its infrastructure in Crimea and coastal Krasnodar Territory, the news agency informs.

The agency also reads that Russia has been pressing ahead with efforts to develop its Arctic territories, including hydrocarbon production and development of the Northern Sea Route, which is gaining importance as an alternative to traditional routes from Europe to Asia. The country has also boosted its military presence in the area.

Dmitry Rogozin said in April that Russia was going to invest 222 billion rubles ($4.3 billion) in its Arctic development program in 2015-2020.

Analyst Tornike Sharashenidze believes that the doctrine is less dangerous for Georgia as we already have the occupant forces in 40 kilometers from the central part of Georgia.

“I believe that the amendments aim at ‘waving fists’ to the NATO and the United States. Of course, it is not beneficial for us as well that Russia intends to empower its presence in the Black Sea basin,” Sharashenidze says.

Fellow analyst Nika Chitadze shares this belief, and stresses that Russian activities are focused against its main geopolitical opponents. However, according to him, this does not reduce the risks against Georgia’s security.

Analyst Khatuna Lagazidze believes that the doctrine is a direct threat to Georgia as Russia ‘warns’ NATO not to take such steps that might damage Russian interests in the regions.

“The civilized world should react on the issue strongly as through making such statements Russia checks reactions,” Lagazidze says.