Russia to Bulk Up Black Sea Navy with New Ships, Subs

World | October 25, 2010, Monday // 21:00|  views

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (R) inspects missile cruiser 'Moskva' under command of captain Sergei Tronev (2-R) based in Novorossiysk, Black Sea. July 2010 EPA/BGNES

Russia is going to upgrade its Black Sea navy with 18 new war ships over the next ten years, Interfax reported citing navy sources.

Thus, after in April 2010, Ukraine under the leadership of its new President Viktor Yanukovich, agreed to extend the lease of the Sevastopol naval base by Russia by 25 years (till 2042) in exchange for a 30% cut of natural gas prices, Russia appears to be making a new step to strengthen its military presence in the Black Sea.

The naval buildup will include at least six frigates and six diesel-powered submarines, the source from Russia's naval command said.

"I am quite sure that the Russian Black Sea fleet will stay in Ukraine till doomsday," says Kirill Frolov, an expert with the official Russian Institute of Commonwealth of Independent States, as cited by The Christian Science Monitor.

Through the Black Sea, Russia borders NATO members Turkey, Bulgaria, and Romania; Georgia with whom it also has a direct land border, is considered a NATO candidate, unlike Ukraine which under Yanukovich started tilting towards Moscow.

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Tags: Russia, Black Sea, Ukraine, Russian navy, Sevastopol


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