Russian Navy

Part V. Naval cooperation: geography, economy, or… policy?

Text:, Evgeny V. Arkhipovsky
"The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"
Otto von Bismarck

International naval cooperation – what does it basically depend on?

There is a reasonable assumption that naval cooperation is the product of policy, just like other kind of arms trade. Yes, only policy with just slight flavor of economy. This principle can be easily traced by the example of Russia's relations with the countries of near abroad.

Ukrainian and Russian experts insisted that all military technical issues must be considered in co-operation and there's no need to break longstanding ties. What we have as a result? Many years of strifes around Black Sea Fleet. Now our countries are direct competitors in the area of arms trade, including the post-Soviet territories. Guess what the reason is? Policy.

To Azerbaijan, it is profitable to renew its navy through relations with Russia. But the Russia-Azerbaijan-Armenia "triangle" has very acute angle which makes Azerbaijanian Navy rely only on deliveries from Turkey and the U.S, although those vessels are anything but good ones. Guess what the reason is? Policy.

Russian-Kazakhstan naval cooperation does not exceed sounding declarations. Only mutual will is needed to turn words into certain shipbuilding programs, but there's no such will so far. Guess what the reason is? Policy.

Turkmenistan diversifies arms deliveries only because it feels suspicious of single countries able to fill vacant niche of naval arms. So far, this perspective market is closed for Russia. Guess what the reason is? Policy again.

If one summarizes all abovementioned facts, it will become apparent that prospects for naval cooperation between Russia and the countries of near abroad is quite dark. All we have is Kazakhstan's declarations to realize such partnership to the full extent. But if this matter puts into motion in the nearest future, one may quite reasonably count on beginning of relationship with Turkmenistan and even with Azerbaijan. Just because the best argument here is a powerful warship built on time and for rational money. And if there's a plenty of such ships, even deep-dyed skeptics will give up and lower flags.


Part I. Who and What
Part II. Non-geographical policy or non-political geography
Part III. Friends or competitors?
Part IV. Delicate hints
Part V. Naval cooperation: geography, economy, or… policy?

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