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Regular version of the site

Article

Russia’s Place in a Polycentric Naval Setup

Maritime Affairs. 2015. Vol. 11. No. 2. P. 9-15.
Kanaev E. A., Sumsky V.

With its extremely long coastline, four strong fleets and abundant maritime resources, Russia cannot be viewed as just a continental power. A combination of rich naval traditions, enormous economic potential, technological expertise and  independent foreign policy puts Russia in a category of global sea powers. That is exactly how it looked for most of the
20th century. Suffice to say that by the end of the Cold War era, Soviet warships and nuclear submarines posed a serious challenge to the US Navy. In the 1990s came a drastic decline in the naval capabilities of the country, but it did not last long – at any rate, not in historical terms. The early 21st century has been marked by an effort to rebuild the Russian Navy and increase its activities. Whilst trying to modernise its naval potential, Russia does not aim to change the status quo and expand its sphere of influence at the expense of others. Its primary purpose is to discourage other powers from dragging it into conflicts which, in the case of Russia’s involvement and given its size and military might, could aggravate the international geopolitical order. This course is generally conducive to a greater polycentrism in global naval affairs, and a more stable world.