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Russia’s Pacific Fleet

July 30, 2013
In this situation, Russia’s on-going effort to bolster its Pacific Fleet appears to be fairly logical.
In the light of Asia Pacific’s growing economic and political significance, ensuring the security of fishing and merchant vessels and protecting the country’s maritime borders from a variety of threats are becoming the Russian Navy’s top priorities.
According to Russian Navy Deputy Commander-in-Chief Vice-Adm Alexander Fedotenkov, the Navy will take delivery of 36 new warships and auxiliary vessels in 2013.
Fedotenkov does not specify how these new ships will be distributed among the country’s different fleets, but it is safe to assume that a significant portion will be used to bolster the Pacific Fleet. Furthermore, the first French Mistral-class amphibious assault ship of the four on order should be added to the Pacific Fleet inventory in 2014.
That said, Russia is not interested in escalating tensions in Asia Pacific because such a scenario would pose a serious threat to its own national security.
On the contrary, the presence of a third, neutral naval power in the region might become a restraining factor in a possible standoff between the USA and China.
In addition, it is worth remembering that Russia has been investing heavily in strengthening and developing cooperation with Asia-Pacific countries.
Russia, China to stage joint naval drill in Sea of Japan
Source: Ria Novosti
Pacific cooperation
Naval cooperation forms an important part of Russia’s Asian policy.
It involves joint military drills and exchange of experience, as well as arms trade. According to a report on the international arms market published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, 65 per cent of all Russian armament exports between 2008 and 2012 went to Asia and Oceania.
The share of naval weapons systems in total Russian arms exports currently amounts to some 11 per cent.
Therefore, Russia’s efforts to develop, modernise and rearm its naval force will help Moscow to promote trade with Asian countries and further expand economic cooperation in the region.
Russia is also keen on participating in bilateral and multilateral naval exercises.
The most representative upcoming events of this kind to be attended by Russian troops will be the International Fleet Review Sydney in October 2013 and Exercise RIMPAC 2014.

Source – Intelligentsiya; Posted by Rusi Varani for SWM

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