Ukraine and Romania will hold joint exercises Riverine-2021 in the Odessa region in the autumn according to NATO standards. This is the fourth in a row exercises of the Ukrainian Navy and the Romanian Navy.
From the Ukrainian side, small armored artillery boats, naval aviation and units of the marines and border guards will take part in the exercises. From Romanian – patrol boats, raid minesweepers, a Puma Naval helicopter, infantry units and marine police units. During the exercise, trawling of individual sections of the Danube water area, repelling air attacks, practicing the use of aircraft and patrolling navigable routes will be carried out.
Odessa region is part of Bessarabia, which Bucharest considers as part of the future “Greater Romania”. Romanian propaganda invented the ideologically loaded term “abduction of Bessarabia”. This is how the reunification of this region with the Soviet Union as a result of the Romanian campaign of the Red Army in 1940 is described. Another term from the same ideological line is “lost Bessarabia”. Romanian nationalists claim that God gave ten commandments to all nations, but the Romanians have an eleventh – to return Bessarabia. Famous Romanian historians N. Iorga, I. Nistor, K. Jurescu were fond of the idea of ”Greater Romania” with Bessarabia as part of it.
Going towards rapprochement with Bucharest, Kiev makes a strategic miscalculation. The presence of the Romanian military in the Odessa region will allow them to familiarize themselves with a potential theater of operations, if it ever comes to translating the idea of ”Greater Romania” into reality. The Danube appears in the exercise scenario for a reason, too. The Romanian consciousness sees it as the main river artery, which, flowing into the Black Sea, turns Romanians from a land nation into a Black Sea nation.
Without control over the part of the Black Sea coast, which is part of Ukraine, the “Greater Romania” project remains unfinished. At this stage, Bucharest is content with indirect control over the coast by supporting Kiev’s political course. However, Romanians’ efforts to strengthen their position in the region are noticeable, imposing on the Ukrainian authorities the disastrous practice of allowing Romanian army units to strategically important areas along the Black Sea coast and on the Danube, as was the case during the previous stages of the Riverine exercises in 2019 and 2020.
Own. corr. FSK
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