Black Sea Fleet Unleashed as Grain Agreement Expires: What’s Next?

The grain deal between Russia has not been renewed, and there are reports suggesting that the Black Sea Fleet is prepared to take “significant measures” in the coming days.

According to military expert Mr. Vasily Dandykin, who holds the rank of 1st class captain (Navy Colonel) in the Russian reserve, the grain agreement has been officially terminated. This development grants the Black Sea Fleet the freedom to operate with increased confidence, prompting them to shed their cautious approach and adopt a more assertive stance. According to analysts, during the period when the grain agreement was in effect, the Black Sea Fleet did not fully utilize its potential and capabilities. However, there are expectations of a forthcoming change in the situation where the fleet will begin to leverage its opportunities and strength more effectively.

“Dandykin reported that a significant amount of grain, weighing thousands of tons, has not been delivered to its intended destination. There have been suggestions that the grain corridor is being used to transport military equipment covertly.”

Due to the ships’ utilization of the “grain corridor,” the Black Sea Fleet faces tremendous challenges, making it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to undertake combat missions under these circumstances.

A Russian military expert has indicated that in addition to the estimated financial loss of up to 700 million USD for Kyiv resulting from the non-renewal of the grain deal, Ukraine will also have to contend with further unfavorable consequences.

“Dandykin emphasized that the Black Sea Fleet now has the freedom to impede the transportation of military equipment and weapons by blocking their route. Ukraine shares its borders with NATO member countries like Romania and Bulgaria, which have utilized this transport corridor.”

According to Dandykin, the capabilities of the Black Sea Fleet are significant, boasting not only surface ships but also submarines and other maneuvering and attack assets. He anticipates that there will be many intriguing developments in the region.

The key question now revolves around the behavior of Turkish President Erdogan and whether he will exercise his leverage by granting NATO warships access to the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits.

Vladimir Evseev, the head of the Eurasian integration and development department at the Institute of CIS countries and a military expert, believes that Moscow’s position will not impact security in the maritime region.

Furthermore, as per expert Yevseev, Russia holds a significant advantage, stating, “If necessary, we can take actions to prevent any exports from occurring.”

However, the analyst believes that regardless of Moscow and Ankara’s next moves, the relationship between the two countries will remain positive.

It is anticipated that the Turkish government will not escalate the conflict with Russia, as President Erdogan is averse to having a military fleet stationed off the Turkish coast, be it Russian vessels or NATO allies.

“Pressure exerted by Turkey on Moscow may manifest in the form of trade. Naturally, they hold the strategic key by controlling the two straits. Nevertheless, Ankara has thus far adhered to the guidelines outlined in the Montreux Convention.”

The Russian expert concluded that while there is a possibility of escalation from Ankara, it remains limited, and the Turkish government is well aware of this.

However, there are other perspectives expressing concerns regarding Turkey’s capacity to adopt a tough stance, particularly considering Ankara’s warning that if the grain deal is terminated, the Turkish Navy will safeguard the transportation of goods at the port of Odessa.

Given that the Turkish Navy is reportedly larger than the Black Sea Fleet, Russia should not disregard the message conveyed by Ankara and should take it seriously.

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