The Russian Navy

“Russia’s pride, strength, and asset” 1

Authored by: Klaus A. R. Mommsen

Routledge Handbook of Naval Strategy and Security

Print publication date:  December  2015
Online publication date:  March  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138840935
eBook ISBN: 9781315732572
Adobe ISBN: 9781317555391

10.4324/9781315732572.ch21

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Abstract

One may well argue whether Russia fulfills the criteria of a sea power. According to Alfred Thayer Mahan, natural factors more than politics furthered “maritime thinking.” First of all, the geography of a coastal state would prompt a government to have a “maritime-political understanding” which in turn affected its foreign, security, and economic policy. To Mahan, sea power built on a “national character” saw the priority of its economic interests in overseas trade (including colonies). That, in turn, would require a sizable own merchant navy which in turn needed protection by naval forces which, for their part, required bases abroad.

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