Russia Monitor is a review of the most important events related to Russian internal and external security, as well as its foreign policies.
Date: 25 March 2023 Author: Grzegorz Kuczyński
Russian Navy Boosts Presence in the Mediterranean
A striking increase of ships of the Russian fleet in the Mediterranean concerned some NATO states locally. Russian presence there stems from the situation in Ukraine. The rise in such incidents coincides with voyages of Russian warships south of the Turkish Straits.
In early March, the Spanish and Italian navy forces warned against the growing Russian presence in the Mediterranean. A Spanish navy’s high-altitude patrol boat began following and monitoring two Russian ships in the western Mediterranean. The patrol boat Centinela intercepted and followed the Russian Navy frigate Admiral Kasatonov and the tanker Akademik Pashin that sailed off the Spanish coast. Italy’s Navy earlier had warned that a bigger Russian presence in the Mediterranean was increasing tensions near the Strait of Sicily and the Ionian Sea. The Russian tanker Akademik Pashin and the frigate Admiral Kasatonov allegedly crossed the Mediterranean in their westward navigation towards the Strait of Gibraltar. Analysts believe Russia is in this way flexing its muscles in the Mediterranean. “The immediate effects on our security of the war in Ukraine have once again reverberated on the sea and are the impressive increase in the numbers of the Russian fleet in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea to a level not even seen in the days of the Cold War,” Navy Chief of Staff Enrico Credendino said in late February. “The risk of an incident is possible and high,” he added.
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