On Navy Day, Putin says the United States is the main threat to Russia

On Navy Day, Putin says the United States is the main threat to Russia

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin takes part in a Navy Day parade in Saint Petersburg, Russia, July 31, 2022. Portal/Maxim Shemetov

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SAINT PETERSBURG, Russia, July 31 (Portal) – President Vladimir Putin on Sunday signed a new naval doctrine that portrays the United States as Russia’s main competitor and outlines Russia’s global maritime ambitions for crucial areas such as the Arctic and Black Sea.

Speaking on Russian Navy Day in the former imperial capital of St. Petersburg, founded by Tsar Peter the Great, Putin praised Peter for making Russia a great naval power and enhancing the Russian state’s global standing.

After inspecting the Navy, Putin delivered a short speech in which he promised what he touted as Russia’s unique Zircon hypersonic cruise missile and warned that Russia had the military clout to defeat any would-be attacker.

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Shortly before the speech, he signed a new 55-page naval doctrine outlining the Russian Navy’s overall strategic goals, including its ambitions as a “great naval power” stretching across the globe.

The main threat to Russia, according to the doctrine, is “US strategic policy of dominating the world’s oceans” and the rapprochement of the NATO military alliance with Russia’s borders.

According to the doctrine, Russia can use its military power appropriately to the situation on the oceans if other soft powers such as diplomatic and economic instruments are exhausted.

Putin did not mention the conflict in Ukraine in his speech, but the military doctrine envisages a “comprehensive strengthening of Russia’s geopolitical position” in the Black and Azov Seas.

It also singled out the Arctic Ocean, which the United States has repeatedly said Russia is trying to militarize, as an area of ​​particular importance to Russia.

Russia’s vast 37,650 km (23,400 miles) coastline stretching from the Sea of ​​Japan to the White Sea also includes the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.

Putin said deliveries of Zircon hypersonic cruise missiles to the Admiral Gorshkov frigate would begin within months. The location of their deployment would depend on Russian interests, he said.

“The most important thing here is the efficiency of the Russian Navy … It is capable of reacting at lightning speed to anyone who decides to violate our sovereignty and freedom.”

Hypersonic weapons can travel at nine times the speed of sound, and Russia has already conducted test launches of the Zircon from warships and submarines over the past year.

In Crimea, Sevastopol Governor Mikhail Razvozhayev said Ukrainian forces attacked the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in the Russian-held port city early Sunday, injuring five staff members.

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Editing by Guy Faulconbridge, William Maclean

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