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SOCHI, January 18 (Itar-Tass) – Russia plans to create its own shipbuilding and ship repair yards on the Black Sea, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Friday at a conference on the deployment of the Black Sea Fleet /which is one of the five major territorial divisions of the Navy/ and development of ship repairs on the Black Sea.
At present, practically all the shipbuilding and ship repair yards are located in the North or the Far East of Russia.
“A part of the Far-Eastern assets are located in the areas that have problems due to natural causes,” Rogozin said. “We’re currently making special efforts to create new shipyards in the Bolshoi Kamen area /on the Sea of Japan near Vladivostok – Itar-Tass/.”
“On the face of it, our northern production capacities have limitations in the form of the very same natural causes – cold geographic latitudes,” he said. “This impedes the opportunities to support development of the industry /construction and maintenance of ships and seacraft – Itar-Tass/ on the Black Sea and puts brake on the advancing of our operations to the Mediterranean.”
He described the situation as “an intolerable one”, since all the Soviet-era southern shipyards are located in the regions that have become integral parts of independent Ukraine.
“I think we should begin persistent work right now to spell out our priorities here, in this particular region – in Novorossiysk, Sochi and at other large facilities and bases of the commercial fleet and the Navy,” Rogozin said as he addressed participants in the meeting.
“It’s important to start in the short term the construction of facilities that would assure proper maintenance of the Black Sea Fleet and the defense of our southern borders,” he said adding that combat operations took place in a nearby region a few years ago.
By saying the latter, he obviously meant the protracted armed conflict between Georgia and Abkhazia, now a young independent country.
“At this moment, we still don’t have the guarantees of security of our own littoral areas and of our allies and that’s why the significance of the Black Sea Fleet has not diminished in any way,” Rogozin said. “On the contrary, it is growing.”
“We must keep our powder dry, as it were, and for this purpose we must ensure proper repairs, servicing and training of our naval forces,” he said.