NATO Is Responding to Russia’s Preparations for War

On the Activity of Russian Submarines in North Atlantic

 

Serhiy Polyovyk

A few days ago, some European media, including the German Handelsblatt and the Austrian Die Presse, reported about Russian submarines’ unusual activity in North Atlantic.

Purposeful in nature, publication of such information took place after the London Summit of NATO. There were also reports of testing new Russian ground, sea and airborne missile systems, the use of Russian combat aviation in Syria, unprecedented concentration of heterogeneous troops and weapons of the Russian Armed Forces in Crimea, the planned testing of submarines and training of the Russian Navy in the ocean.

…Such extraordinary activity of Russian submarines had not been observed since the end of the Cold War…

According to NATO officials in Brussels, Handelsblatt notes, such extraordinary activity of Russian submarines had not been observed since the end of the Cold War. NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu has spread in the RND German media group a statement about Russia’s purposefully increasing the intensity of its submarine operations. In such actions around Norway alone in October 2019, the Allies spotted simultaneous activity of at least ten Russian submarines.

NATO will adequately respond to such Russians’ increased activity, Oana Lungescu stated. NATO plans to expand patrolling of the offshore waters in the North Atlantic. It is also going to increase investments into the development of modern air systems for combating submarines. North Atlantic is vital to the security of Europe, as there are many routes of military supply, civilian trade routes and communication channels there.

…A hybrid war is about combining traditional open warfare with hidden influences and asymmetric actions. And these active “games” of the Russian submarine fleet do show the preparation for exactly that kind of possible war…

The aforementioned European publications point out that NATO is considering, among other scenarios, a possible aggravation of the situation in the region, such as damage or destruction by Russian submarines of the USA-Europe undersea cables. Handelsblatt notes that such cables provide most of the Internet communications, and their damage would not just adversely affect the state of intercontinental communications, but would aggravate the geopolitical situation globally. And the attacks themselves, the newspaper warns, would be nothing more than a part of a hybrid war. Because it all is about combining traditional open warfare with hidden influences and asymmetric actions. And these active “games” of the Russian submarine fleet do show the preparation for exactly that kind of possible war.

Russia is bound to respond to NATO’s promise to step up its patrolling of the seas of North Atlantic. But what and how it will do is difficult to predict, since the initiative is in the hands of the attacker country.

 

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