Russian Navy to reopen base in Vietnam


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Russia plans to re-activate Phan Rang Base

The Russian Navy is planning to reopen the naval base in the Phan Rang in Vietnam. The Russian naval command in Moscow said as much, specifying that it had completed the work on the documents, which provide convincing arguments for the restoration of the base for Russian warships in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Thanks to its location, the Phan Rang Bay in the South China Sea is regarded as one of the best deep-water seaports in the world. During the Vietnam War Phan Rang was located in South Vietnam and was a big support base of the USA.

In 1979 Moscow and Hanoi signed an agreement on the use of the Phan Rang Sea Port as a support facility by the Soviet Navy for a period of 25 years. Later a big Soviet military base for the navy, air force, marines, radar and some other military facilities, was set up there. Phan Rang served as an effective counterbalance to the U.S. bases in the Philippines, in South Korea and in Japan, but in 2001 Moscow decided to close down the Phan Rang Base. This was done for a number of reasons, mainly economic in character.

However, the majority of the top Russian military commanders were against the closure of the Phan Rang Air Base. The circumstances are gradually changing though. The world has started speaking about Russia’s return to the World’s Oceans. Today’s long cruises of warships, the resumption of the Russian strategic aviation flights over the World’s Oceans and the international situation, characterized by the intensification of sea terrorism confirm the necessity for Russia to have naval and air bases abroad. The former chief of staff, the Russian Navy, Admiral Mikhail Abramov says:

"The issue concerning the fight against piracy is crying for solution. The Russian Navy is actively involved in this. In view of this, some legal problems, concerning the basing of the Russian warships abroad, their systematic cruises to the high seas, and also the forms and methods of using force of arms by the Russian Navy emerge. All these issues are being carefully studied at the moment."

Taking into account Russia’s geographic situation, as well as its economic, political and military interests on the high seas, we can say that Russia is a great sea power. This is an objective reality the world community can’t ignore. That is why Russia should maintain its fleet properly, as was the will of Emperor Peter the Great of Russia.