Russia’s Black Sea Fleet will become less vulnerable when it is deployed in Abkhazia, the former commander of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation, Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov believes.
“Taking into consideration the fact that the fleet is currently deployed in Ukraine’s Sevastopol, opening a new base in Abkhazia implies a landmark geopolitical victory for Russia. The fleet will be more dispersed and less vulnerable. Here we also defend Abkhazia’s sovereignty,” the official said.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov repeatedly stated that the Black Fleet would control the routes of vessels in neutral waters of the Black Sea. The control will be conducted to defend Abkhazia against Georgian aggression. Russian vessels have already been prepared to accompany Abkhazia’s cargo ships in neutral waters.
Georgia set out its concerns about the expansion of the Russian military presence on the Black Sea. The vice speaker of the Georgian parliament, Paata Davitaya, stated that Russia was conducting illegal actions near the coast of Abkhazia. The politician particularly stated that the Russians were building a base for submarines there.
Admiral Komoyedov said that Russia had only one diesel submarine in the Black Sea. New subs are expected to arrive in five or six years only, the official said.
Leonid Ivashov, the president of the Academy of Geopolitical Sciences, said that Russia would use military objects in Abkhazia collectively with the armed forces of the independent nation.
“Such a state of affairs is good for Russia since a joint army base is much more functional. A base like that can be used for 49 years and then prolonged every five years and there is no rent. The rent is replaced with military cooperation, the delivery of military hardware to Abkhazia and the training of Abkhazian servicemen in Russian military educational institutions,” the specialist said.
The structure of the new base will include former peacemaking objects, an air base, a range ground, joint garrisons and other objects.
Russia will have to invest billions of rubles in the important project. Prime Minister Putin said last year during his visit to Sukhumi that Russia was going to spend 16 billion rubles on the development of army bases in Abkhazia. About four billion more will be required for the construction of transport and border infrastructure.