Uniqueness: Russia’s expanding its sphere of ocean influence

Russia is increasing its naval power in the ocean

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Russia is increasing its naval power in the ocean

Mendiolaza, FDI Research Analyst, 2013

[Gustavo, June 28th, 2014, Future Directions International Pty Ltd., “Russia: National Involvement in the Indian Ocean Region,” http://www.futuredirections.org.au/publications/indian-ocean/1134-russia-national-involvement-in-the-indian-ocean-region.html, accessed 7-7-14, J.J.]

Since July 2012, there has been speculation about new Russian overseas naval bases, the first since the collapse of the Soviet Union. One suggestion is that a base will be located in the Seychelles, in the western Indian Ocean. This speculation stemmed from talks between the Russian Deputy Commander of the Main Staff of the Navy, Rear Admiral Vasily Lyashok, and the President of the Seychelles, James Michel. Many Russian naval bases have closed since the early 1990s because of a lack of stable financing. Despite denials from the Defense Ministry, President Putin has, in the past, expressed a desire to increase naval activities and restore Russia’s military power.

The Indian Ocean has increased in importance in recent years, with its sea lines of communication facing potentially heightened risks of maritime confrontation between India and China, along with other support/client states. The prospect of Russia maintaining a naval base in the Indian Ocean would complicate matters; it would simultaneously be both symbolic and of strategic importance Further, as part of its emerging role in the Indian Ocean, Russian warships are operating in co-operation with those of other states around the Seychelles and in the Arabian Sea to counter the threat of piracy.

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