The Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation will receive six new patrol vessels. The construction of the lead ship of the project has already been launched. In late October, it is planned to start the construction of two submarines - Kolpino and Veliky Novgorod. Bigness.ru asked an opinion from an expert on international maritime law, Sergei Aprelev.
"The construction of vessels is a part of the government's plan to restore defense capability of all kinds of troops of the Russian army. Is the country financially able to upgrade the Black Sea Fleet?"
"It is now clear that the current situation - both political and economic one - makes us rethink the course that we had ten years ago. I am pleased that the navy is reviving. During the time of President Yeltsin, the Black Sea Fleet had one submarine, and the Baltic Fleet had one submarine too. This is what developing countries could afford - to display their superiority to other, also developing, countries. If a country needs to solve complicated tasks, it has to have a naval group. Turkish naval forces on the Black Sea exceed the Russian fleet twice. Russia does not have a future, if it does not create a basis for addressing problems."
"Are there any difficulties in shipbuilding now? Have anti-Russian sanctions affected the industry?"
"As far as I know, the sanctions stopped the shipments of certain components and dual-use products. For example, during the end of the Cold War era, Russia reached parity even in underwater shipbuilding. The Soviet Union learned to make low-noise submarines. The West quickly found the guilty: Japanese and Norwegians supposedly sold us the machines that could make low-noise propellers. The current situation is similar to that one.
"That is, there is a full-scale economic war going on. The West accuses Russia of attempts to remake the political structure of the world, and Russia tries to defend its position as a great power, almost. For this greatness, one needs to improve economy and find balance between the level of economy and the condition of armed forces. Presently, and this is no secret, we stay afloat owing to strategic nuclear forces."
"To be able to solve intermediate questions, without rattling nuclear arms at every international conference, Russia should have a balanced and developed fleet that would be capable of solving tactical problems across the Baltic and Black Sea theaters."