WASHINGTON DC – The US government-linked think tank RAND has published a plan for “containment” of Russia in the Black Sea region.
The plan was elaborated by several political scientists of the organization. The material accuses Russia of having an so-called evil influence in the Black Sea region .
The plan brings with it some steps to be taken by Western countries against Russia’s influence in the region.
The first of these would be the installation of coastal defense missiles in Romania and Bulgaria. In addition, the plan recommends Western countries to install air defense systems to counter Russian missiles.
The plan also recommends greater Western military cooperation with Ukraine and Georgia, as well as a greater NATO presence in the area.
The document acknowledges that a purely military solution would not be sufficient to contain Russia.
Measures outside the military field are advocated to strengthen regional integration against Moscow.
Non-military measures such as peace negotiations, support for economic projects, development of regional infrastructure could also contain Russian influence according to RAND.
Russian officials say that as NATO’s presence in the region increases, Western countries break the promise made in the 1990s that NATO would not expand to Eastern Europe.
The already tense relations between Washington and Moscow would only get worse with the greater presence of foreign troops in the Black Sea.
Russia has made it clear more than once that such NATO measures will be followed by an equivalent response from Moscow.
Russian warships do not hinder NATO countries and Ukraine from conducting exercises in the Black Sea, closing off the maneuvering area to prevent incidents, former Baltic Fleet commander Admiral Vladimir Valuev explained.
Earlier, in an interview with the Ukrainian edition Segodnya, retired Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, who commanded the US Army in Europe, said Russia “is blocking NATO exercises.”
When Atlantic Alliance forces announce exercises on the Black Sea, Russia closes the corridors, the US general said, noting that NATO needs to build its forces in the region to “guarantee freedom of navigation.”
“Before making such statements, the US general should familiarize himself with the rules of operational combat training: the area in neutral waters where the exercises are performed, as well as the airspace above it, is being closed – its coordinates. and closing time are indicated,” said Valuev.