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Putin approves new naval strategy, US seen as threat

Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved a new state policy for the country’s naval forces that points to the US as intent on dominating the world’s oceans and thus posing a threat to Russia.

A document detailing the strategy took immediate effect after being signed by Putin on Thursday.

It offers more details on where Russia’s navy sees potential international friction and conflict, US-based news magazine Newsweek reported Thursday.

“The Russian Federation continues to retain its status as a great naval state, whose naval potential ensures the defensive of its national interests in any part of the World Ocean,” the 22-page document says.

According to the report, among the direct naval threats to Russia is “the striving of a series of governments, above all the United States of America and its allies, to dominate the oceans, including in the Arctic and also to reach an intimidating supremacy with its naval forces.”

The strategy, which will remain binding until 2030, comes in addition to earlier announcements by Russian navy authorities who have designated the Arctic “a priority development area for Moscow.”

The document says that the resource-rich Arctic region is the subject of claims by Russia and four other nations that are all US allies.

The strategy paper further states that other nations are trying to “limit Russia’s access to resources at sea and its access to vitally important naval transport communications.”

The document also warns that the world is in for a rough ride by 2030, foreseeing “an unstable military-political environment, characterized by the increase of global competition, rivalry in the world power centers” due both to the rise of extremism and international power plays.

Putin’s decree also points out that Russia’s navy is “one of the most effective tools of strategic (nuclear and non-nuclear) containment, including in preventing a global strike.”

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