Black Sea has become an area of confrontation between Russia and US including NATO as both Moscow and Washington are engaged in increasing their military activities in and around the Black sea. The developments clearly show Russia’s assertiveness in the world stage under Putin who views Black Sea strategically vital because it acts as a bridge between Europe and the middle east.
With the retreat of the West from the world stage,Russia seeks to expand its influence in Eurasia and to achieve an access to Mediterranean sea that will provide it with logistics hub to carry out military activities in Ukraine Romania, Turkey Poland, Georgia with a mission that former soviet republics should remain under its influence.
Putin is aggressively engaged in altering the security balance in the Black Sea,Aegean Sea and Mediterranean waters by deploying advanced naval assets after establishing large A2AD “Bubbles” (anti-access/area-denial exclusion zones) thus ending supremacy of Turkey in strategically significant waters.A2/AD bars enemy from entering, operating or remaining in the region of conflict. Turkey and Russia established friendly ties after the July 2016 failed coup.
It is pertinent to point out that Black Sea is bordered by Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Russia and Georgia.
Russia is strengthening its maritime dominance to achieve greater political goals in the former soviet republics of Azerbeijan in the Caucasus, Middle East and Central Asia.
Working on its plan to deploy new land based air defence systems by 2020, Russia has already added surface combatants S-300 and S-400 surface to air missiles systems, bastion anti ship cruise missiles and submarines to bolster Russia’s Black Sea naval fleet. After Aleppo’s victory, Putin is expanding the Russian naval base in the Syrian port city of Tartus. The facility hosts a Soviet era naval supply and maintenance fleet in the Mediterranean under a 1971 agreement with Syrian government. Russia operates air defence system from Belarus and Armenia as well.
But Russian Foreign ministry has expressed grave concerns over the US deployment of Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile system in South Korea as it threatens Russia’s security.
Mikhail Ulyanov, Director of the Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control of the Russian Foreign Ministry said Moscow will take into account US deployment of the THAAD complexes in South Korea in military planning and foreign policy activities, as these steps lead to an aggravation of the situation in the region.
Thus the Trump administration contacts with Russia may undermine America’s security and deployment of land-based cruise missile that violates the “spirit and intent” of an arms control treaty poses a threat to US NATO allies and eventually will weigh heavily against its super power status.