Russia announced plans Tuesday to strengthen and modernize its navy to counter NATO power in the region. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told a general security meeting that he expects this to be achieved within six years.
Shoigu said that “these proposals must ensure that our forces are equipped with modern weapons and military equipment.” He also stated that “I will not hide that this in large part is linked to events of recent months,” referencing the fighting that has been going on in eastern Ukraine.
The Russian navy is older than their US, EU, and Chinese counterparts. According to Reuters:
In the past 23 years, Moscow has managed to complete a few new submarines and small frigates and destroyers at its main Sevmash shipyard, on the North Atlantic coast. But many of Russia’s current naval vessels — and all its large vessels — are Soviet leftovers.
Furthermore, Washington routinely builds 8 warships a year with a new aircraft carrier coming out every four or five years. Currently, the US has 10 nuclear flatop carriers, along with nine smaller carriers. Russia has only one functioning carrier.
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NATO is resolved to make sure that Russian power in the region is not left unchecked. Barack Obama unveiled a plan to spend $1 billion on the modernization of Eastern European NATO members’ armed forces.
What do you think? Is Russian power now a menace to Eastern Europe? Does NATO have sufficient power in the region to check Moscow?