Saturday 24th of August 2019, 18:22 CET
Putin creates base for Black Sea fleet in Novorossiysk
September 17, 2003
Associated Press

Posted by HW on August 24, 2019

Strategical
President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that he has signed an order for the creation of a naval base at Novorossiisk, on the Black Sea, and called the region a strategically important area for Russia.

Sevastopol still headquarters
Putin said the plan for a Black Sea Fleet base in Novorossiisk does not mean that Russia will abandon the base in Ukrainian port of Sevastopol, which is the fleet's headquarters, the Interfax news agency reported.

Variants
"We must have different variants, and there are various tasks facing the fleet, so the fleet should also be present in Novorossiisk", Interfax quoted Putin as saying in Yeisk, a city on the Azov Sea, which is adjacent to the Black Sea.

Crimea
Sevastopol is on the Crimean Peninsula, part of Ukraine, which became independent when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Tensions between Russia and Ukraine over the Black Sea Fleet and its Sevastopol base have largely eased since the early 1990s, but the countries are arguing over their border in the Azov Sea.

Geopolitical importance
Putin said that the region of the Black and Azov Seas has "special geopolitical importance and is a zone of strategic interests for Russia", Interfax reported. He said it is a hub of "global transport routes, including for energy".

Oil
Russia ships oil out of Novorossiisk, through Turkey's Bosporus waterway, and nations are planning pipelines to carry oil and natural gas from the Caspian Sea to world markets through Turkey, which dominates the Black Sea's southern coast.

Conflicts
Putin pointed out that there are several conflicts in the region that persist and said the "a real challenge for the region is the activity of terrorist structures, cross-border crime and illegal migration".
 
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