2020, November

FLANKS Working Paper The Crimean Aircraft Carrier. Russian Federation Militarization of the Black Sea – conducted during  FLANKS research project,  carried out in partnership between the New Strategy Center and the Norwegian Institute for International Affairs (NUPI) between 2020-2021.

The study analyzes the evolution of the military capabilities of the Russian Federation in the Black Sea area, highlights the strategic importance of the Crimean peninsula in the Russian defensive system and presents the role of the Black Sea in Russian strategic thinking. The authors explain how deployed capabilities have become not only a platform for interdiction in the region (AntiAccess/AreaDenial – A2/AD), but also one of force in the Middle East and North Africa, by virtue of the historical obsession with access to warm seas. The study also analyzes the negative impact of the militarization of the Black Sea on trade and freedom of navigation, in an area with important energy resources and gas pipelines for the whole of Europe. To address these complex challenges, a unified strategic approach by NATO is needed, from the north, from the Barents Sea and the Kola Peninsula, to the south, the Black Sea and the eastern Mediterranean.