Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 51 Number 21, July 17, 2021 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

NATO Operation Sea Breeze 21 in the Black Sea

US, Britain, NATO - Get Out of the Black Sea!

HMS Defender entering the Black Sea

Just six days after Britain's provocative decision to send its destroyer HMS Defender into the territorial waters of Crimea, part of the Russian Federation, Britain was taking part in Operation Sea Breeze 21 in the Black Sea, which continued until July 10. "Sea Breeze" manoeuvres have taken place annually since 1997, co-hosted by the US and Ukraine. This year it is the largest ever NATO operation in the Black Sea, claiming to involve 32 countries [1], 5,000 troops, 32 ships, 40 aircraft and 18 special operations. Operation Sea Breeze 21 follows one of many previous operations in the Black Sea this year, all aimed quite openly by NATO as war manoeuvres against Russia. In March, NATO's Sea Shield-21 exercise in the Black Sea involved more than 2,400 soldiers, 18 warships and 10 planes.

What has made the Sea Breeze 21 exercise of particular note to everyone is its dangerous warmongering scale and NATO's focus, specifically identifying it as war preparations against "Russia's illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea and denounces its temporary occupation". In other words, this NATO exercise has clearly been aimed at actions focused on reversing by force of arms a decision of the people of Crimea and Sevastopol [2] to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation in 2014. With these manoeuvres, the Anglo-US and NATO forces are dangerously heightening tensions and risks of war in the Black Sea and encouraging militarism in Ukraine. Reports show that Russian diplomats have continued to say that there is no need for an exercise of the scope of Sea Breeze 21, stating that any problem arising in the region could be solved by the coastal states themselves without imposing outside assistance.

At the same time, through these exercises NATO, and particularly the US and Britain, are also arming Ukraine against Russia. As one analyst [3] put it, "NATO's rearming of Ukraine under Sea Breeze 2021 guise is for future conflict in Donbass." On June 22, it was reported [4] that Britain and Ukraine had signed a deal on HMS Defender in Odessa to hand over two Royal Navy Sandown-class minehunters. As part of the agreement, eight new missile vessels will be built, with two of those constructed in Britain. Britain will also "assist in building naval bases around the Azov Sea and the Black Sea regions" with Babcock International, a British Marine, Nuclear, Land and Aviation arms manufacturer "as the prime industrial partner".

In the Ukraine, US-led imperialism backed by a "Global Britain" is confronting post-Soviet Russia. The US-led camp, as well as the old powers of Europe, are sensing that they can make gains and lay waste the whole region. Britain and its dominant arms industry are making huge gains out of the conflict regardless of the danger of catastrophic war aimed at the peoples of the region. In other words, this is the so-called US-led "rules-based international order" which the Anglo-US and NATO forces want to impose by force of arms, whilst they dismiss the claims of the people of Crimea and Sevastopol, Donbass and Ukraine for a peaceful resolution of these issues, a claim of the people which is backed by established international law following World War II.

The claims of the peoples in the whole region should be paramount. The sovereign rights of nations and peoples, irrespective of ethnic make-up, can only be resolved by the peoples themselves. The necessity is to oppose warmongering such as these war manoeuvres in areas of tension in the world and for the recognition of the rights of the people and how these can be given a meaningful guarantee under the prevailing conditions.

The working class and people here in Britain must condemn the government for their direct interference in exporting armaments and dangerous military confrontations in the Ukraine and the Black Sea. The demand of the people is that all Anglo-US and NATO armed forces of land, air and sea be withdrawn from Ukraine and the Black Sea immediately.

Britain and NATO Get Out of the Black Sea!

1. The NATO website claims that "allies and partners" will participate from: "Albania, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, France, Georgia, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Morocco, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Senegal, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States."
2. In the referendum of March 16, citizens of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and of the city of Sevastopol voted to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. The final voting figures were reported to be 96.77% in favour of joining the Russian Federation on a turnout of 83.1% of the eligible voters. Despite the media and government hysteria in Britain, Europe and North America, the 135 international observers from 23 countries reported that there was neither voting under pressure nor any violations of voting rules.
3. "NATO's rearming of Ukraine under Sea Breeze 2021 guise is for future conflict in Donbass", Paul Antonopoulos, independent geopolitical analyst
4. "UK Giving Ukraine Sandown-Class Vessels in Defence Deal", June 22, 2021


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