Soviet Policies in the Indian Ocean Area

Author/s (editor/s):

T.B. Millar

Publication year:


Publication type:

Policy paper

The first publicised incursion of the Soviet Navy into the Indian Ocean was as recent as March-April 1968, though this was not the first time Soviet ships had entered the Ocean.

The strength of the fleet is difficult to determine with any accuracy, but it is not such as to 'add up to a vast Soviet fleet cruising hungrily round the ocean.' Nonetheless, it does represent a new factor in the strategic situation in the region.

In this study Dr Millar argues that for the indefinite future the Ocean will be the main maritime thoroughfare between the eastern and western parts of the Soviet state, in part for geographical reasons, in part because the Soviet Union's policies in the Indian Ocean cannot be separated from its policies and strategies throughout the world.

As he says, 'The Soviet ships are not in the Indian Ocean out of concern for the national interests of any state except the Soviet Union'. It is in the light of those interests that he examines the implications of the Soviet actions.

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