Russian maritime strategy since the Ukrainian crisis

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Relations between the West and Russia have markedly deteriorated since 2014 as a result of the annexation of Crimea, the war in Ukraine, Western sanctions, Russian intervention in Syria, and perceived interference in electoral processes in the U.S. as well as a number of EU states. Despite near-constant decline in capabilities since the end of the Soviet Union, Russia remains a significant naval power, second by tonnage after the U.S. and third in number of ships after the U.S. and China, though the Navy is geographically dispersed. 1 The Russian Navy has been involved in several high-profile actions since 2014. The resupply of Russian forces in the Syrian conflict has been the most prominent example of power projection, but Russian antagonism in the North Sea and the Baltic is particularly relevant for NATO’s European member states, especially the newer Eastern members. 2 The election of President Trump in 2016 has not particularly altered the Russian naval calculus, and even the first meeting between Trump and Putin, in July 2017 at the G20 in Hamburg, is unlikely to do so, despite discussion of cooperation on security issues such as cybersecurity. In practical terms, the Trump presidency has not substantively altered the course of U.S. foreign policy in the areas considered vital to Russia, such as the sanctions, the Ukrainian question, or American commitment to collective security in Europe through NATO. As the Russians are very unlikely to unilaterally commit to de-escalation, the course of Russian naval strategy will continue regardless of the transfer of power in Washington.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNaval powers in the Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific
EditorsHoward Hensel, Amit Gupta
Number of pages19
Place of PublicationLondon ua.
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group (GB)
Publication date11.05.2018
ISBN (Print)9781138303669
ISBN (Electronic)9780203730874
Publication statusPublished - 11.05.2018
Externally publishedYes