Black Sea: A great unknown for NATO


Romanian leaders dream that Russia will be attacked by NATO, and with its defeat it will recover its former territories that belonged to Romania. Only Snake Island, southern Bessarabia (Budjak) and Northern Bukovina belong to Ukraine, and Romania as a NATO member unconditionally support Ukraine. In the context of NATO, Romania has offered to protect the Ukrainian army in the field of cybersecurity. It's not possible to ask Ukraine for Romanian territories, though some are of strategic importance for Romania's defense and NATO's eastern flank.

Why did Romania need a NATO fleet in the Black Sea?

Another strange initiative of Romanian President Iohannis was to ask that the Montreux Convention be violated through a permanent presence in the Black Sea, by powerful NATO naval groups, composed of vessels struggle that non littoral states ( the US, Italy, France, Germany, England, Canada). Romania's proposal being rejected by Bulgaria, the Black Sea riparian states like Romania. The Montreux Convention of 1936 restricts warships of non-Black Sea states from entry through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles,which have a displacement of more than 10,000 tons. If more vessels of the same country enter NATO in the Black Sea, their total tonnage should not exceed 45,000 tons. This absurd proposal from Romania is invoking the aggressive attitude of Russia and was resumed at the summit in Warsaw by the Romanian president without being heeded by other participants.

Romania's initiatives prove the complete absence of military strategies, that Romania would be doing anything to trigger a military confrontation with Russia. The simplest argument in favor of this statement is that in the Black Sea, 45 kilometers from the Romanian coast and 120 km from Ukrainian Odessa, lies Snake Island, with a length of approximately 1 km and a width of 440 m. Until 1944 Snake island belonged to Romania, then it came into the possession of the USSR through 1991. Today it is Ukrainian territory. Romanian leaders never challenged Ukraine's right to Snake Island in the past 25 years, which was actually Romanian soil. It proves that the Romanian political and military leaders do not know the strategic importance of this island in the Black Sea, which is worth as much as a NATO fleet. From  Snake island, Romania could detect and counter any Russian landing on the Romanian shore.

Romania: a key goal of penetration in the Western Balkans

In military science, the Central-Eastern European Theatre of Military Actions (TAM) and its Balkan strategic orientation is the bridge between Europe, Asia and the African continent. Romania is strategically placed on one of two Operative Directions within the Balkan strategic orientation. It is a Turkish Operative Direction beginning at Istanbul, running through Bulgarian territory, passing the Carpathians of Romania, reaching Belgrade-Pancevo and Budapest. Therefore, Russia is interested in creating a new stable equilibrium in the Western Balkans and needs a corridor from the Black Sea to Serbia passing through Romania [1].

Snake Island instead of the American antiballistic shield at Deveselu

The US antiballistic shield located at Deveselu (Romania) is a ground based complex, taken from an American destroyer class Arleigh Burke and consists of a radar AN / SPY-1D, tracking targets and guiding missiles and a release system Mk-41 VLS, consisting of vertical type cells. The VLS Mk-41 has the ability to launch each one type of rocket ship-to-air type: RIM-174 / Standard Missile-6 ERAM (range 370 km) RIM-156A / Standard Missile-2 (190 km range) and RIM-7 Sea Sparrow (range 19 km). The vertical VLS Mk-41 has the ability to launch each type of rocket - ship-to-ship, ship-submarine, ship, coastal and cruise missile (rocket-torpedo anti-submarine ENG-139 ASROC with a range 22 km, Tomahawk cruise missile with a range of 1,400 km, the rocket ship-to-ship, ship-coastal RGM-165 / Standard missile-4 with a range of 280 km). The vertical launch system VLS Mk-41 is also armed with antiballistic rocket RIM-161 / Standard Missile - 3 / 1b. Arleigh Burke class destroyer has a length of 154 m, of which section Mk-41 launchers mounted vertically bridge is 55 m, which is why the entire American facility at Deveselu fits Snake Island. If Romania had a well-trained military commander he would have to propose, since 2010, that the antiballistic shield be located on Snake Island, not Deveselu.

Snake Island is also the optimal place for an outpost meant to control the situation around Transnistria. Secessionist Transnistria is part of Moldova (former Romanian Bessarabia), which has no border with Russia and still hosts a contingent of peacekeepers, made up of Russian military. Both Ukraine and Moldova have passed a law that cancels the previous agreements on their transit to and from Transnistria. The border between Transnistria and Odessa, where an Ukrainian mechanized brigade is deployed, is 95 km, and all intersections are controlled by Ukrainians. Basically, the Russian military in Transnistria cannot be replaced or supplied, being trapped in the area. The scenario "Operation Boomerang" was released by Ukrainian political scientist Sergei Gaidai, director of the Center for Strategic Planning / he proposed a Blitzkrieg, stating that the Ukranian "little green men" would deal in five days with Transnistria, capturing the leadership and contingent of Russian peacekeepers stationed there. In this case, to counter its military occupation and capturing Transnistria, Russia would need an airlift of military aircraft over the Russian Crimean Black sea until the estuary of the Dniester River (120 km). And therein they would be overflying the airspace of Ukraine till Transnistria (100 km). This maneuver area belongs to Ukraine and is called Southern Bessarabia or Bugeac, an area which belonged, until the end of the Second World War, to Romania. If an Mk-41 American antiballistic shield would be located on Snake Island instead of Deveselu , it neutralizes any attempt for deployment of Russian troops by sea or by air.

On January 4th, 2016 Aaron Korewa, adviser to Foreign Minister of Sweden, published an article in which he described the following scenario: Russia sends several civilian ships near Snake Island, trained in humanitarian missions at Russian bases in Crimea. They would actually be Russian "little green men", armed with AK-47 that would land on Snake Island using dinghies fastened to four Russian submarines and surface ships under Russian protection. Snake Island under Russian occupation would be turned into a military outpost that would ensure control over the western and north-western Black Sea [2].

If Russia decides to seize Snake Island, the Black Sea fleet of Russian warships can position to close any exit in the Gulf of Odessa, thereby blocking the small Ukrainian flotilla in their bases. Using combat aircraft, helicopters attacks on warships and marines Russians can force the Ukrainian garrison from Snake Island to surrender in two to four hours, without any resistance.

Buyan class corvettes belonging to the Russian Caspian Sea Fleet, have served as platforms for launching cruise missiles Kalibr (range 1500 km) that hit targets in Syria. UKSK vertical launch systems on Russian ships are similar to the American Mk-41 AEGIS on destroyers and cruisers and similar to those in Deveselu. The UKSK naval systems, besides launching cruise missiles, also fire supersonic 3M55 Oniks (300 km range) missiles, surface-to-ground or coastal-ship, Kh-35 or family Club N / S. Russian combat ships are mounted with vertical launch systems Redut (32 cells), which can use both AA-type missiles S-300/400 (range 200-400 km), as well as medium-range short action AA  missiles.

Krasukha-4 Russian broadband equipment was used successfully in Syria, which is jamming radar surveillance from military satellites, naval radars, ground-based radars in Romania, Moldova and southern Ukraine, the AWACS and aerial type on the fighters. Russians can  build platforms for high power radar for jamming equipment Krasukha-4 on the rocky soil of Snake island, and Redut UKSK systems, and ground-ground bunkers, Iskander missile (500 km range). Thus they will have the possibility to create in the north-western Black Sea an "exclusion zone", as in Crimea, impervious to all means of NATO ( "Anti-Access / Area Denial" - "A2 / AD bubble"). American antiballistic shield at Deveselu would be threatened by Iskander missiles located in Snake Island, because between the two locations the distance is 479 km.

[2]. What 2016 Will Mean for Ukraine? (Http://