Victor Boştinaru on the illegal Russian annexation of Crimea & the situation in the Black Sea Basin
The strategic military situation in the Black Sea Basin following the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia: Victor Boștinaru (S&D Vice-President, RO) – Rapporteur: Ioan Mircea Pașcu (S&D, RO) – SEDE Subcommittee on Security and Defence 21.01.2015 – European Parliament, Brussels.
I want first to thank the rapporteur for his excellent work. It’s a pragmatic, somehow cool-minded, but a realistic picture of what happens today in the Black Sea. And for those who lose the picture by mentioning only details, I will remind them that once in the European history, we told the same to Hitler: Hitler is too strong, we shall live with Hitler. But after the Munich agreement, we’ve been passing through WWII.
Now, looking to the Black Sea in General, and to Crimea in particular, I think that the picture on the Russian strategy is much larger and more dangerous. We have to link Black Sea and Crimea with South Ossetia and Abkhazia ; do not forget the partnership agreement between Russia and Ossetia has been discussed in front of this committee and was considered a very dangerous aspect. Second, we have to connect with Transnistria: Russia can impact development in a much larger area.
And it’s not just about the land, the piece of land of Crimean Peninsula, as was mentioned by all speakers. After the occupation against the international law, Russia has deployed heavy military equipment. Is it just for the sake of History? Is it just for fun? Just for the military (officers) to spend their vacation in Crimea, where the facilities are good? No! It’s at least 35 fighter jets, among the modernest of the Russian Air Forces ; it’s the modernisation of the airport (€ 1.7 bln) ; it’s about the modernization programme of the Black Sea Russian Fleet ; and it is indeed about the deployment of 300 Iskander missiles, and probably, quoted from a very high NATO official, potential Russian nuclear capabilities which have been deployed in Crimea. Is this just playing with History and history books in general or is it more than that ? It is a clear provocation: Russian fighter jets are constantly violating the air space of NATO and EU member states, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey.
Source: European Parliament