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Ukraine Blocked Black Sea Fleet of Russia in Sevastopol

Ukraine Blocked Black Sea Fleet of Russia in Sevastopol
Baranov Anatoly 12.12.2007

On Friday the Supreme court of Ukraine ordered Black Sea Fleet the Russian Federation to transfer the Crimean beacons to the control of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence and simultaneously Kiev forbade the Russian ships to leave water area of Sevastopol without preliminary explanations, where and what for. If the story with the beacons is old and silly enough as Black Sea Fleet of Ukraine de facto has no hydrographic service and its infrastructure will be partly plundered, partially simply given up, restriction of a free walking out of the fighting ships - is a problem.


Position of Kiev was quite clearly explained by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the assistant to the chapter of the Ukrainian part of subcommittee in questions of functioning of Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation and its stay on the territory of Ukraine Victor Semenov: "If it is a fleet of the foreign state, we wish to know how it will behave, if there will be a crisis situation between Russia and some other country. Therefore our position - not to let citizens of Sevastopol become hostages of the situation".


As a whole it is clear that in case of appearance of some confrontation with participation of the Russian ships today's power of Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation cannot guarantee retaliation on base of a fleet in any way, i.e. on the Ukrainian city Sevastopol - that is, certainly, Sevastopol is absolutely Russian city, but its belonging to the Ukrainian State is also quite doubtless. And the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine naturally worries about interests of its citizens.


And, unfortunately, this problem is not far-fetched - situation around Abkhazia is complex enough and appearance of a confrontation there is quite possible. Naturally, Abkhazian will be supported by Russia as it's natural that the Georgian will support NATO. NATO is - Turkey, which fleet several times on fire power today surpasses the Russian Black Sea Fleet and the one of the USA which have on the territory of Turkey military-air base Engirlic. Elementary comparison of forces testifies that counterblow on the base of Black Sea Fleet of the Russian federation and even full-scale attack of the base as in the times of the Crimean war with participation of several countries - is quite real script of development of situation. One of many - but quite real one.


Ukraine in all these conflicts is going to be neutral. On the one hand, it has special relations with Russia, on the other - not less warm relations with Georgia. Ukraine aspires in NATO and it absolutely doesn't want to receive impact on its territory from that alliance in which it aspires. Especially it would not be desirable that its fleet, let it be quite sham and the Ukrainian army (not at all sham), appear involved in the conflict on one of the parties.


It is not excluded that Ukraine will insist that there will be the following condition stipulated in the new agreement on status of Black Sea Fleet: every walking out of the Russian ships from Sevastopol should be accompanied by a guarantee of their nonparticipation in military actions, that makes staying of Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation in Sevastopol quite senseless. If such military fleet which every walking-out from the basis should be accompanied by some "guarantees of nonparticipation" could be called military fleet?


The problem of displacement of Black Sea Fleet of Russia from Sevastopol has also geopolitic, geostrategic problem.


Withdrawal of the fleet to the territory of Krasnodar territory will mean its liquidation as, despite of aggressive declarations of the Kremlin, there will be no other base of Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation in new place. Russia simply doesn't have resources enough for its creation. For the one who can imagine how base in Sevastopol looks like, it's simply impossible to imagine that Putin's, totally advertised mode is capable to create for some years analogue to what has been created by some Romanov's generations (personally, with direct participation) and some generations of the Soviet leaders. To advertise "new base" which in reality could be only a cemetery of ships - that is the maximum present Kremlin owners are capable of. All the more it could be awaited that the powerful network of coastal fortifications capable of restraining of the fleet and army of possible enemy on the given direction would be created.


All the more Ukraine cannot do something with the base in Sevastopol but for what it has already done with own share in the inheritance of Black Sea Fleet of the USSR - to plunder up to the basis, up to tearing away of the frames from windows and cables from concrete walls. The result of management of Kiev can be observed in Balaklava - once confidential and up-to-date base of submarines, now a pleasant Black Sea resort with yacht club located in the unique bay closed from all winds.


So, there will be strategic emptiness on a place of Black Sea Fleet which by all means will be filled in by someone. There are enough applicants for filling it in - it's Turkey quite reasonably applying for return of Crimea and, probably, of some Black Sea region territories, tore away from it in the 18-th century. It's also Romania, only half a century back already aimed on Odessa which, as historically recent events in Transdniestria show, is quite ready to territorial purchases. Appearance of new applicants is possible such as Bulgaria and also Georgia or some Great Cirkassia.


The essence of a problem is that Ukraine and Russia will be superseded from Black Sea Coast together and simultaneously, it will occur as soon as these countries will have nothing to oppose to external expansion.


Great opportunities for escalating of potential of conventional armaments in Black Sea region give the chance for Russia to withdraw from Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. If it was possible earlier to influence oppositional party, now quite uncontrolled reequipment of local armies will go by even more quick rates. It's possible to say that reequipment of the Russian and Ukrainian fleet hasn't been even started.


Availability of the nuclear weapon in Russia is by al means strong restraining factor, but in the very near prospect this monopoly can be broken even in Black Sea Coast. Ukraine possessing the nuclear industry at a level of the most developed countries, possessing here the potential approximately at a level of the 5th-6th place in the world, certainly, is capable to create very quickly own nuclear forces, at that both charges and means of their delivery. And it would be rather adequate answer to disappearance of such strategic unit as Black Sea Fleet.


It is especially important that degradation of Strategic nuclear forces of Russia proceeds, meanwhile practice of non-distribution of nuclear technologies for today is already ineffective. The alternative which could be looked through is very simple - or the 21-st century becomes a century of nuclear opposition in Black Sea Coast, or these extensive territories will go away from Ukraine and Russia.

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