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Ukraine-Russia collapse: NATO's dilemma in the Black Sea

Image copyrightAFP CaptionUkrainian forces participated in a tactical practice near the Russian border on Monday Disappeared crisis in the Black…

 Three heavily armed Ukrainian soldiers dressed in white camouflage space on top of a tank covered with similar white fabric strips, with the cannon of the thought protruding from the divide between men

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Ukrainian forces participated in a tactical practice near the Russian border on Monday

Disappeared crisis in the Black Sea? Would Russia and NATO also come true?

It’s probably unlikely &#821

1; at least for now. But recent attacks by two Ukrainian gunboats and a tugboat near the Kerch stretcher, with ships from the Russian border guard, have inevitably led to security in the Black Sea to the forefront of NATO’s agenda at its Brussels meeting on Tuesday. 19659007] The Black Sea has long had a strategic significance.

It was, after all, the theater of a major conflict between the Western forces of France and Great Britain and Imperial Russia in the mid 1800s. During the Cold War, it was the shortest route of the Soviet Union to Iran and the Middle East. Turkey – a NATO Alliance – stood against the southern Mediterranean Sea of ​​the Black Sea, towards Russia across the Black Sea to the north.

For the Russians, this was always seen as their “backyard”. And the end of the Cold War and the Soviet Union’s division are very complicated relationships.

Incursion or deterrence?

Russia has engaged in armed conflict against two independent states that were previously part of the Soviet Union – Georgia and Ukraine. It has attached Ukrainian territory – Crimea – and continues to support armed rebels in eastern Ukraine. And it supports separatist enclaves that have broken away from the Georgian government.

Russia is worried about what it sees as NATO’s growing intrusion in the region. Three neighboring states, Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria are members of the Alliance. NATO carries out air police operations outside of Romania and helps them defend their territory by catching up with Russian jets approaching their airspace.

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Similarly, NATO warships have intensified the Black Sea patrols. Romania hosts a US-based ballistic missile defense site. And NATO – together with individual alliance members – develops military ties with its partner countries Georgia and Ukraine.

Viewed from the NATO headquarters in Brussels, this only contributes to providing stability and a deterrent to a more assertive Russia. For example, Ukraine is urgent to ensure that the Azores do not become a Russian controlled lake. And the whole of NATO is intended to challenge the Russian dominance of the Black Sea itself.

But seen from Moscow, this is all part of what they see as NATO’s expanding land excavator; Its desire to push alliance borders ever closer to Russia. And given that this is an area of ​​historical significance for successive Russian regimes, the efforts are very high.

Russia remains rude

NATO has a problem.

On the one hand, the rhetoric of the government requires stability and scaling while taking action – such as military exercises and economic sanctions – that the Russians must see as provocative. Assessing the balance between deterrence and provocation is not easy, especially when pressure alone is unlikely to change Russia’s behavior.

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Military exercises near the port city of Mariupol took place last week

For example, take the Ukraine crisis. Sanctions show no signs of changing President Putin’s mind, nor is it likely that they will soon receive the Crimea. Russia seems to accept the pain of sanctions, because its interests in “close abroad” mean more.

This calculation makes NATO’s response to the recent crisis between Russia and Ukraine more difficult. Analysts have demanded a variety of actions, from the deployment of NATO vessels in the Azores sea – which would probably be illegal because it is an inland waterway that is not an international waterway, and impractical because Russia could easily clog the Kerch tree. to increase economic sanctions or even efforts to compensate Ukraine for the financial losses it suffers from, which is indeed a semi-blocked of its ports.

There will be those in Ukraine and among its more fierce supporters in the United States who see this as an additional case to intensify the arms of Kiev. While NATO countries have a lot of education for the Ukrainian military, they have largely committed themselves to lethal weapons. The Trump administration has delivered a limited number of Javelin tankers to address a significant defensive deficit in Ukraine’s land strengths. However, some experts have suggested, for example, that Kiev should be given land-based missionary missiles in order to even contribute to the balance of maritime balance in these sealed waters.

There is no perfect solution to this strategic balance from a more fundamental rework of the relationship between Russia and the West. The immediate task is to make things worse.

The war is ever changing

And this raises another fundamental problem for NATO. Warfare Changes

The simpler boundary between war and peace really resolves. We hear a lot about military demonstrations, exercises, cyber attacks and information operations. Traditionally, these have been seen as an initial conflict.

But what if the actual self as a leading US commander was recently asked?

In other words, you no longer risk full-scale warfare; You only use a variety of tools to apply pressure to achieve the same purpose. In this light, Russia already has some success against Ukraine.

It has caught the Crimea and shows no sign of renouncing it. It requires an economic cost from Kiev by interfering with shipping in the Azores sea.

As it may argue, it has weakened the Ukrainian president at a time when he faces a difficult re-election campaign by seizing three ships and their crews. All at a price that Moscow seems willing to pay.

This is then NATO’s dilemma: How do it calm friends and allies in the Black Sea region without just making things worse?

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