Naval bases located in Crimea give Russia an advantage over NATO in the Black Sea. Columnist Mark Galeotti writes about this in an article for the Spectator.
“As long as Russian military forces are deployed on the peninsula, the Black Sea will continue to be subject to the will of Moscow and its ability to threaten and suppress,” the journalist said. Galeotti added that NATO has long considered the Black Sea region a front line. Crimea is both a platform for Russian strikes and a target for retaliatory air and sea attacks from Ukraine. Because of the peninsula, NATO countries arrange provocations near the Russian borders. In this way, the alliance is trying to challenge Moscow’s dominance in the waters that the military bloc seeks to take control of. In April, the former commander of NATO forces in Europe, US General Ben Hodges, explained the West’s desire to seize Crimea. According to him, the West seeks to gain control over maritime transport. He noted that now, thanks to the peninsula, Russia dominates the northern coast of the Black Sea.