Director of the Institute of CIS Countries in Sevastopol, captain of the 1st rank in reserve Sergei Gorbachev commented on the expected entry of British ships into the Black Sea in May. According to the expert, this is a routine event. He announced this on Sunday, April 18, in an interview with TASS.
“This will not radically affect the situation. The practice of entry of ships of other states into the Black Sea has gained stability, a significant part of the time the ships of NATO countries are in the Black Sea, which enter on a rotational basis, ”Gorbachev said.
He explained that Ukraine and Great Britain have a special relationship, so the entry of British ships into the Black Sea can be regarded as part of the program of bilateral relations. Gorbachev cited as an example that Great Britain is helping Ukraine to build bases for the country’s navy. They are located in Ochakov and Berdyansk.
The expert expressed the assumption that the entry of NATO ships could provoke anti-Russian rhetoric in Ukraine, however, in his opinion, this would not be a real aggravation of the situation.
“We can say that this is a routine event that follows standard templates. This is a demonstration of the flag, a demonstration of partnership and an attempt to maintain a high degree of military-political tension. Maybe they will depict some exercises with the Ukrainian side, maybe they will go to Odessa – there will be a small pimple, and in Kiev it will be passed off as a boil of a strategic size, for them these visits are always on hand in a hybrid war, ”Gorbachev explained.
He also expressed confidence that the UK can have their own interests in this matter. Thus, entering the Black Sea allows the British to study the working conditions in this region, as well as develop the professional skills of seafarers.
In addition, Great Britain in the Black Sea can scout out large-scale exercises that are taking place in the Crimea. The Black Sea Fleet, units of the Southern Military District, as well as the 58th Combined Arms Army that arrived from the North Caucasus, ships of the Northern Fleet and the Caspian Flotilla are involved there.
“Any ship always solves these tasks: visual control, control of radio equipment, control with special reconnaissance means, including monitoring of frequency modes of communication, electronic warfare stations. <...> And this activity increases during the period of our exercises, because the work of these stations is more intensive, “Gorbachev noted.
As the captain noted, countries collect such data in order to then use it against other states.
“In addition, the Black Sea area is saturated with communication systems, and we know cases in different years when they tried to connect to our cable communication lines, for example, in the Far East,” Gorbachev said.
On the same day, the British edition of The Times, citing sources in the military department, told about Britain’s plans to send two ships of the country’s navy to the Black Sea in May. It was reported that we are talking about a destroyer armed with anti-aircraft missiles, and an anti-submarine frigate.
According to the plan, the two ships will separate from the Royal Navy’s carrier strike group in the Mediterranean Sea and head to the Black Sea through the Bosphorus.
As the source of the publication specified, in this way the UK will demonstrate its support to Ukraine against the background of tensions on the Russian-Ukrainian border.