Russia to Boost Crimea-Based Black Sea Fleet

Defense | July 23, 2014, Wednesday // 12:56|  views

Russia has announced plans to enforce the Black Sea Fleet after a number of US ships were recently sent to the Black Sea for military maneuvers. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Russia is to enforce its Black Sea Fleet stationed on the Crimean Peninsula, which broke away from Ukraine in mid-March.

Vice Admiral Aleksandr Vitko, Commander of one of the Russian Navy's key sub-units, announced the country had started to develop a "powerful" black fleet.

Coast artillery is to be boosted alongside naval air forces, and new submarines and warships are due to be commissioned, Vitko told Interfax.

His comments came after President Vladimir Putin announced Tuesday military infrastructure had to be restored in Sevastopol, where most of the Black Sea Fleet has been stationed for decades.

Putin believes measures are needed to step up defense in response to NATO's plans to increase its presence in the Black Sea and the Baltics over the Ukraine crisis.

Ukrainian website Vesti quoted him as assuring activities to strengthen the fleet must be finished at the earliest possible.

He reportedly described measures taken by the alliance, which were also discussed at a meeting in Warsaw this week, as "demonstrative" actions.

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Tags: Aleksandr Vitko, NATO, Black Sea Fleet, Russia, Sevastopol, Vladimir Putin, Crimea, Black Sea


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