Annexing of Crimea key to Black Sea power

national March 25, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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Sevastopol on the banks of the Black Sea is the key strategic point for the Russian naval fleet in the country's southwestern region. It could be used to defend or expand military operations against Europe, Thepchai Yong, Nation Multimedia Group chief ed

Reporting from a naval base and Belbek airbase in the city, Thepchai said it was understandable why Moscow believed it had to annex Crimea after the conflict in Ukraine.

Crimea had been a strategic location for Russian maritime power for at least two centuries, he reported to Nation TV.

He said the naval operation in the Black Sea could connect to the Mediterranean, which is under European influence. It also linked to Turkey and the Middle East.

After the ousting of pro-Russia Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych, the Kremlin viewed Ukraine as being to close to Western influence. The annexation of Crimea would help Russia maintain power in the Black Sea. The naval base and airbase in Sevastopol are completely controlled by Russia.

Thepchai and his team, including Krailuck Ngarm-sopa, Nation TV’s foreign-news editor, reported from both locations yesterday.
Moscow, in fact, had leased Sevastopol from the Ukrainian government for its naval fleet in the Black Sea for long time, Thepchai said. 

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