“Atlantic Council” Started Talking About Unblocking the Kerch Strait Using the US Navy

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard

18:48:09
04/09/2017

politnavigator.net

Experts of the leading American analytic center in the field of international relations “Atlantic Council” suggested to the White House to enter American warships into the Azov Sea in order to “unblock the Kerch Strait”, reports “Nezavisimaya Gazeta”.

Construction of the bridge through the Kerch Strait irritates not only Kiev, but also Washington. The expert of the Atlantic Council for foreign policy Stephen Blank suggested to the White House to send to the Azov Sea warships under the pretext that “closing the passage cuts off two very important Ukrainian ports, through which there is the main part of export of Ukrainian steel,” writes the publication. “Moreover, Stephen Blank emphasizes that, in fact, the actions of Moscow in the Kerch Strait causes damage to the prestige of the US”.

Thus in the publication it is noted that the passing of warships through this passage doesn’t fall under any current existing international agreement, and after the entry of Crimea into the structure of Russia the Kerch Strait stopped being inter-state, and is now under the jurisdiction of Moscow.

“But, as is known, the West didn’t recognize the results of the Crimean March referendum in 2014 and, respectively, didn’t recognize the legality of the accession of the peninsula to the Russian Federation. The Montreux Convention here also doesn’t apply. Firstly, it concerns the Bosphorus and Dardanelles Straits, and secondly, the same US without hesitation violates this convention when it enters their mind, and without special prerequisites for this. In 2014 the frigate of the US Naval Forces USS Taylor exceeded the limit of stay in the Black Sea set for warships of non-Black Sea countries by 11 days. Precedents of similar behavior of the US Naval Forces in other points of the world also exist. The American pennants, as is known, without recognizing the jurisdiction of Beijing over the Spratly islands, periodically come into the water area of these islands, which the People’s Republic of China considers as their territorial waters,” notes “NG”.

Besides this, the newspaper specifies that the General Staff of the UAF, according to the Ukrainian media, already planned to undermine the Crimea Bridge.

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Different methods were considered: the use of a fire ship (a vessel filled with explosives), the laying of charges in the bridge supports, detonating a car filled with explosives on the bridge, and so on. The free passage of foreign warships through the Kerch Strait will significantly facilitate this task. Protection of the bridge, according to the decision of Moscow, is assigned to the National Guard of Russia and the leadership of departmental protection of the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation. Perhaps, in light of changes to the operational situation, it is worth thinking about strengthening it.

“In addition, the Americans build an Operational center of the Naval Forces in Ochakov, which will be formally used by the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine. It is being built on the territory of the naval base of the Naval Forces of Ukraine in the neighbourhood of the 73rd Naval Center of Special Operations, whose tasks include carrying out acts of sabotage.

But if to consider the fact that Ukraine doesn’t need such a center due to its lack of a military fleet as such, and that Kiev has no money for its operation, it is possible to draw the conclusion that the Americans build the center for their needs. Ochakov is located 150 km from the Crimean coast: it is reasonable to assume that the US plans to use this center for reconnaissance and possibly for sabotage purposes directed against Crimea and Russia in general,” warns “NG”.

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