The increasing activity and reach of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.
Last month’s cruise missile strikes against targets in Syria from a Russian frigate and a submarine have highlighted the more prominent role being played by Russia’s Black Sea Fleet (BSF). The BSF has emerged as a primary means for Moscow to extend its reach and show its presence in and around the Black Sea and Mediterranean, demonstrating to NATO and others the growing long-range capabilities of the Russian military.
- Maritime security in the Mediterranean may take on the additional character of hard power competition, given increased BSF activity.
- This will add to an already complicated and turbulent situation in a region already burdened by migrant flows and the threat of terrorism.
- NATO is likely to revise its 2011 maritime strategy to focus more on defence and deterrence, and less on ‘soft’ maritime security tasks.
- The US European Reassurance Initiative is likely to have larger air and maritime components and a more visible US presence in the Black Sea.