Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It looks like there will be more bears in the Med

This is the sort of thing that should set the newspapers flapping, or at least their foriegn desks.
Russia is set to expand and modernize its Soviet-era naval facilities near Tartus in Syria to support anti-piracy missions off the Somali coast.

This is a ase that was abandoned in 1991, but has seen a recent visits from the Russian carrier the “Admiral Kuznetsov” with an escort fleet, (having harrased Norwegian gas feilds) giving testament to the Syrian port's capacity. With Ukraine particularly antsy about the continued presence of the Black Sea at Sevastopol in the Crimea, talks of a base in Lybia and the Russian functional control of Algeria's gas industry this will give the Bear the sort of strategic capacity that the Tsars could only dream of.

Rather charmingly the EU last week was talking about gas supply as currently about 25% of its energy needs come from gas, a percentage rapidly increasing, whilst 58% of that comes from Russia. The EU notes that other safer sources include Norway, Lybia and Algeria. Well that's alright then.

Any mention in the British press? No, of course not.

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