The NATO defense chiefs agreed to significantly boost allied forces in the Black Sea region in 2016. The USA, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Turkey indicated that their contribution to station more fighter jets in the region was clear.

Romania and Bulgaria will host an increased air force presence, designed to undertake surveillance missions over the Black Sea at Russia’s doorstep. The UK, Canada and Poland will send aircraft to be based in the Romanian southeastern Mihail Kogalniceanu air base.

The USA supports the Romania’s initiative to establish a multinational naval brigade in the region. The proposals on two basic elements for the maritime component – a strengthened training framework and a coordination body for the Black Sea that reports to the specialized NATO command – are expected to be submitted. However, the idea of forming a NATO “Black Sea Fleet” did not materialize.

NATO naval task force permanently deployed in the Black Sea will require non-Black Sea states to rotate their warships every 21 days, raising the cost of the operation, in line with the provisions of the Montreux Convention (1936). Bulgarian, Romanian, Ukrainian and Georgian navies by themselves can hardly make a significant contribution.

Bringing together NATO and non-NATO warships together under one operational control is a highly provocative step towards Russia. US destroyers and cruisers visit the Black Sea from time to time to provide NATO with long range first strike capability.

The Russian territory is protected by Russia’s Bastion-P (K-300P) anti-ship coastal defense missile systems equipped with Onyx missiles. These Mach 2.6 supersonic missiles are highly maneuverable, difficult to detect and have a range of nearly 300 kilometers.

With the help of the Monolith-B radar station, the system is capable of obtaining over-the-horizon target designation many miles beyond the horizon. The long range cruise missile capable Su-24 supersonic attack aircraft are already deployed in Crimea. By deploying a naval-group to the Black Sea, NATO puts it at severe risk.

Sputnik News / AA Magnum Analyst News 2017.

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