Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday signed a new naval doctrine that makes the United States the country’s main competitor and establishes the Kremlin’s global maritime ambitions for crucial areas like the Arctic and the Black Sea.
Celebrating 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 strengthening the Russian state’s global position.
He even promised new “unique Zircon hypersonic cruise missiles” and claimed his country had enough military might to defeat any wouldbe attacker.
The new naval doctrine signed by Putin is 55 pages long and sets out the strategic goals of the Russian Navy, including ambitions to become a “great sea power” that spans the world.
The main threat to Russia, according to the doctrine, is “the US strategic policy of dominating the world’s oceans” and the rapprochement of the western military alliance NATO to the borders of his country.
The document also defines the Arctic Ocean, which the United States has repeatedly said Russia is trying to militarize, as an area of particular importance to Moscow.
According to the doctrine, Russia can use military force in a manner appropriate to the state of the world’s oceans when other resources such as diplomatic and economic tools are exhausted.
Putin did not mention the conflict in Ukraine in his speech, but the military doctrine calls for a “comprehensive strengthening of Russia’s geopolitical position” in the Black and Azov Seas.
Russia’s vast 37,650kilometer coastline stretching from the Sea of Japan to the White Sea also includes the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.
Putin said deliveries of new Zircon hypersonic cruise missiles to the Admiral Gorshkov frigate would begin within months and station them in a location dependent on Russian interests.
“The main thing here is the efficiency of the Russian Navy. It is able to react 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 conducted earlier tests of the zircon of warships and submarines last year.