RUSSIAN NAVAL COMMANDER HOPES NEXT DUMA WILL SAVE BLACK SEA FLEET.
Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 102
Admiral Igor Kasatonov, first deputy commander of Russia’s naval forces, says in Slava Sevastopolya’s current issue that the Black Sea Fleet’s situation is "complicated" as Ukraine "attempts to oust Russia" from Crimea. But the admiral says that he expects the situation to improve after Russia’s legislative elections, because the new Duma will be more receptive to Russia’s position on the Black Sea Fleet. Also in Sevastopol, Fleet officials said that the relocation to Russia of a marine battalion from Sevastopol does not mean the beginning of a withdrawal of the 810th marine brigade from Crimea, and that media reports to that effect were wrong. (14)
The remarks reflect expectations that Russia’s upcoming elections will produce a more hardline Duma with a strong military representation (Kasatonov is himself a candidate), and serious second thoughts about earlier plans to withdraw Russian ground units from Crimea, particularly after Russia has repudiated the CFE treaty.
U.S.-Ukrainian Military Exercise Held.