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MOSCOW, August 3 (Itar-Tass) —— The Russian Defense Ministry has denied a planned visit of large landing ships of the North Fleet with marines aboard to the Syrian port Tartous but said the visit was possible if necessary.
“The naval group is not expected to visit the Tartous logistic base,” a ministry source told Itar-Tass on Friday. “The naval group includes support vessels, which replenish reserves of warships at the sea and extend the duration of autonomous voyages,” he said.
“However, if the voyage period is extended and new assignments are given, the naval group command has the right to replenish reserves at the Tartous logistic base. That is the base’s mission,” the source said.
The naval group in the Mediterranean Sea will incorporate the Vice-Admiral Kulakov of the North Fleet and two auxiliary ships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet – the Ivan Bubnov tanker and the MB-304 towboat, on August 4, the source said.