Russia revises navy doctrine over NATO's 'inadmissible' expansion
Russia aims to boost the strategic positions of its navy on the Black Sea and seek to maintain an Atlantic and Mediterranean presence, according its latest naval doctrine which has been revised over NATO's "inadmissible" expansion.
Published Sunday on the Kremlin website, an updated version of the Russian Navy's doctrine came half a year after a revised military doctrine that dramatically reflected deteriorating relations with the West.
NATO was already seen a major threat in an earlier version of the doctrine published in 2010, but the war in Ukraine has further raised tensions to levels not seen since the Cold War.
The new navy document underlines "the inadmissible character of the Alliance's plans to move military infrastructures towards its borders."
The Russian text sets targets of "developing infrastructures" for its fleet at the Black Sea in Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula annexed in 2014 by Russia.
It also calls for the "accelerated reconstitution and completion of strategic Russian positions" in the Black Sea.
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin also highlighted "the accent put on the Atlantic and the Arctic" in the new doctrine.
"Our attention towards the Atlantic is justified by the expansion of NATO in the East," he told Russian news agencies.
The doctrine also stipulates the aim of "guaranteeing an adequate military naval presence for Russia in" the Atlantic region.
The same target was set for the Mediterranean, with a deployment of a "permanent manner".
For the energy-rich Arctic, the doctrine wants to "reduce threats on national security and to guarantee strategic stability."
It also sees the "development a Northern Fleet".
"These changes show that Russia pays particular attention to the reinforcement of its naval potential in the Arctic and the Atlantic to counter NATO," military expert Alexander Golts on Moscow Echos radio said.
But "without a decisive reinforcement of the fleet's capacities, all of these make no sense," he added.
NATO agreed in February to dramatically boost its defences with six command centres in eastern Europe and a spearhead force of 5,000 troops, to counter what the alliance called Russian aggression in Ukraine.
© 2015 AFP