Navy Admiral John Richardson, the new head of the U.S. Navy, said on Thursday, addressing the top naval officers in Europe at a meeting in Venice, Censor.NET reports citing Еvropeiska Pravda
John Richardson, who recently became Chief of Naval Operations, said Russia has demonstrated growing prowess with its ships and demonstrated a willingness to use military coercion. Russian submarine patrols increased by more than 50% from 2013 to 2014 and its fleet has increased its range.
"Their operational tempo has risen to levels not seen in over a decade. Their proficiency is increasing," the official said in his speech in Venice.
Russia unveiled a new naval doctrine in August, which western observers argue sets the stage for a more aggressive military posture by the Kremlin. But NATO has not updated its naval strategy since 2011.
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"Enough has changed with the Russia threat, with migration issues, with the rise of information systems that it may be time to take another look at the NATO maritime strategy to see if it adequately describes the problem set that we have got," Richardson said.
U.S. military officials have raised with increasing alarm concerns about the build up of Russian military capability in Crimea and in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. Russian missiles and naval power there could threaten the ability of the U.S. and its allies to operate in the Black and Baltic Seas.
There are also growing concerns about the Russian naval build-up in the eastern Mediterranean. Russia's military build-up, Richardson said, "may become the defining anti-access, area-denial challenge" for the U.S.
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NATO and the European Union should also step up coordination in order to more efficiently allocate naval assets, he said. The EU is conducting a naval operation in the Mediterranean to try to intercept smugglers bringing migrants from Libya to Europe.