In February, NATO’s Defense Ministers will convene a ministerial conference and in April they will do so for Foreign Ministers. These meetings should reassess the importance of the Black Sea and the Balkans’ strategic importance, especially in light of recent events.
During the Cold War two of Russia’s four fleets were nuclear ones, the Northern Fleet based out of Murmansk in the Kola Peninsula in the Arctic, and the Pacific Fleet based out of Vladivostok and Petropavlovsk.
Most analysts have maintained that this disposition has remained the case until now.
But can we be certain of that?
There was a time when the mere mention of a projected Russian (or Soviet) air or naval base in Latin America would have immediately generated a firestorm in Washington. Those times are now long gone.
European energy security isn’t a pressing concern for most Americans — but it should be. If Europe, the West’s frontline against Russian aggression, falls under de facto Kremlin control through energy domination, America will be left vulnerable.
Giving Russia a pass in the Kerch Strait equates to giving Putin a veto over where you can and cannot sail; in effect daring you to take him on. Seizing vessels and kidnapping sailors are actions more akin to the 18th century than the 21st, it is piracy plain and simple.