What’s happening in the Crimean waters? An old European powdered egg is heating up. There are two cold war adversaries.
First let me introduce the key players. Russia and Britain are two countries that live in eternal suspicion of each other. They were locked in a standoff why?
Because a British warship sailed near Crimean waters. This is sensitive territory for Russia. It became a part of Russia in 2014.
Making Crimea part of Russia immediately backfired. And Russia was overthrown from the G8. And western sanctions followed.
Claims From Both Sides
So for Russia Crimea is sovereign territory. But for the west it is an occupation. These competing claims clashed on previous wednesday.
Britain says it was an innocent passage. A straight line route from Ukraine to Georgia. But for Russia it was a blatant provocation.
This has never happened since the cold war. Russia has never admitted to firing at a NATO ship. It’s been nearly three decades.
Why did Russia feel threatened this time? A couple of reasons.
Reason Number one
This wasn’t just any warship. It was HMS defender. A type 45 destroyer. The ship was loaded with a surface-to-air missile system, a helicopter weapon system and multiple medium caliber guns. Enough for a big firework.
It shows the defender is part of the carrier strike force. So from a Russian perspective there was a hostile warship nine thousand kilometers from home.
Reason Number Two
This standoff was years in the making. Russia is surrounded by NATO states. They now have an indulging U.S President. And to the southwest Ukraine is clamoring to enter NATO. President Vladimir Putin feels europe is ganging up on him.
Question is, has he gotten away with it? Within hours Moscow summoned the british ambassador.
So How Is London Reacting?
They’re surprisingly docile. Trying to downplay the episode. They say no warning shots were fired.
Animosity to Russia though is a Churchillian trait. Every british government inherits it.
In 2018 Russia was implicated in the Salisbury poisoning. Britain alleged Russia for Cyber attacks.
So why is London suddenly giving Moscowa pass?
Could be a case of choosing its battles. Britain’s new frontier isn’t the Black Sea . It is further east.
The HMS defender has to go to the south China sea. But this double standard could come back to haunt Britain.
How can they challenge China’s claims after ignoring Russia’s?
They’ve dropped bombs around a british warship. And London’s reaction was don’t overreact. Vladimir Putin has displayed his appetite for conflict. It’s a waiting game to see if Europe is ready.