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Russian shipborne air task force arrives in Mediterranean

November 01, 2016, 11:49 UTC+3

The defense minister says refusal of some countries to allow Russian ships to call at ports did not affect their traffic in the Mediterranean Sea

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Pyotr Veliky missile cruiser

Pyotr Veliky missile cruiser

© Lev Fedoseyev/TASS

MOSCOW, November 1. /TASS/. The Russian shipborne air strike force led by the missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky has arrived in the Mediterranean Sea, Russia’s Defense Minister Army General Sergey Shoigu said on Tuesday.

"Last week, our shipborne air strike force led by the missile cruisier Pyotr Veliky made a passage through the eastern Atlantic into the Mediterranean Sea. On October 27-29, support vessels replenished the naval group with all types of supplies to the required level," Shoigu said at a conference call in the Defense Ministry.

The refusal of some countries to allow Russian vessels to call at their ports did not affect the mission of the Russian task force, he added. 

"We were especially surprised by the position of certain countries which under the pressure of the US and NATO said in public they denied the request of our warships to call at their ports. This did not affect at all the schedule of their traffic along the planned route as they are provided with all the necessary resources," Shoigu said.

According to Shoigu, the Russian groupings at the Hmeymim air base and the Tartus naval maintenance base in Syria are also supplied with all the necessary items as 2,000 tons of cargoes are delivered there on average every day.

The refusal of some countries to allow Russian warships to call at their ports has demonstrated how "our partners understand their contribution to the struggle against international terrorism in Syria," Shoigu said.

‘It is time for our Western partners to determine with whom they are really struggling - with terrorists or with Russia," he added.

The Russian Northern Fleet’s aircraft carrier group began its voyage to the north-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea on October 15. According to data of the Northern Fleet’s press office, the group comprises the heavy aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, the heavy nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky, the large antisubmarine warfare ships Severomorsk and Vice-Admiral Kulakov and support vessels.

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