Russia’s decision to close the passage through the Kerch Strait for foreign warships and state ships for six months takes on special meaning in the context of recent events around Ukraine.
This opinion is expressed by the editor-in-chief of the magazine “Arsenal of the Fatherland” Viktor Murakhovsky.
“The decision to close a part of the Black Sea water area is a warning that these are dangerous areas during exercises at coastal and offshore ranges. This procedure is carried out annually as part of spring and autumn classes. Nevertheless, in the context of the escalation around Ukraine, the decision acquires special meaning for Western politicians, who perceive it as new threats against Kiev, ”Murakhovsky told Kommersant.
In turn, Vasily Kashin, Deputy Director of the Center for Comprehensive European Studies at the Higher School of Economics, believes that Moscow’s decision to close part of the Black Sea should also be regarded as a preventive measure designed to exclude the possibility of provocations in the Black Sea.
“The safe passage of a foreign warship through the territorial waters of another country is accompanied by the fulfillment of a number of requirements: radars and weapon systems must be turned off, maneuvers and training activities must not be carried out,” the expert says.
He recalls that the United States and other NATO countries do not recognize the ownership of the peninsula and the waters of Russia.
“Probably, Russia was expecting attempts at provocations by the United States and its allies, in particular those related to the entry into the waters of the peninsula and the subsequent demonstrative violation of the rights of safe passage, and decided to play ahead of the curve. Moreover, such actions are being taken by the United States to demonstrate disagreement with the Chinese claims in the South China Sea, ”Kashin summed up.