To become a pole in the multipolar world, Moscow needs a strong army and powerful economy, the Western experts claim.
As the New Eastern Europe reports, after the collapse of the USSR, a serious decline in operational reach of the Russian military has taken place. The authors believe that the Russian economy has seriously suffered because of the Western sanctions and low oil prices, but it didn't refuse to become a military power, capable of acting on a global scale.
In order to reach this goal, the Russian army needs a net of military bases abroad, especially in the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic, Pacific as well as the Arctic Ocean. Beside that, the Russian military needs stable financing for a capable navy, strategic air forces, as well as an effective and advanced military industry, Juraj Beskid and Tomáš Baranec claim in the article "Is Russia Really a Global Military Power?"
As they note, on February 25th, Cypriot president Nikos Anastasiadis and Vladimir Putin signed an agreement on military cooperation. This agreement allows Russian aircraft to land on a Cypriot airbase near the city of Paphos and the Russian navy can use the port of Limassol. By signing this agreement, Cyprus has become the first country in the EU which has offered its military bases to Russia, despite the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and mutual sanctions between EU and Russia.
At present, Russian armed forces have their bases in Armenia, Belarus, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, at Georgian separatist territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as well as in annexed Crimea.
The Kremlin launched bargains regarding usage of already existing military bases with Venezuela, Nicaragua, Algeria, Singapore, Seychelles, Cyprus, Cuba and Vietnam. According to the Kremlin, a Russian comeback should also have the Arctic dimension, not just as means of defence but also as a tool of how to support additional territorial claims of Moscow on this resourceful and increasingly lucrative region.
In December 2013, Vladimir Putin announced that a firm Russian military presence in the Arctic ought to be one of the main priorities of the Russian armed forces.
Although military expenditures have not been severely cut yet, they are overreaching the real potential of the Russian economy at the moment, the authors say. Nonetheless, Russia remains a strong military power to reckon with.
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Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea