ASTRAKHAN, June 28 (Itar-Tass) - Ships of Iran's Navy, which have arrived in Russia for an unofficial visit for the first time, have passed under a drawbridge on the Volga river, heading for the port of Astrakhan.
An officer in the press service of the Southern MiIitary District (SMD) told Itar-Tass on Friday that a railway bridge over the Volga was drawn apart fot the Iranian naval squadron to pass. The squadron consists of two missile boats Paykan and Joshan. "For the ships to be able to proceed on their way, it was essential to draw part of the bridge upwards," the press service officer specified.
That done, the Iranian naval ships laid out on the Volga. They are expected to moor near the Peter the Great monument at 08:00, Moscow time. The squadron is being accompanied by Volgodonsk small artillery ship -- the newest vessel of the Caspian Flotilla,which met the guests in the Caspian Sea.
"The ceremonial meeting to welcome the Iranian ships will be held in the Peter the Great Square to the strains of the national anthems of the two countries. Officials of the Caspian Flotilla and the leadership of the Astrakhan Region will greet the guests," the SMD spokesman said.
The Iranian navy men will stay in Astrakhan until July 1. The squadron's commanding officers will meet with the Caspian Flotilla command and Astrakhan Region leading officials. The Iranians are to tour the Caspian Flotilla's naval museum, the Combat Glory Museum, as well as the visit the ship Volgodonsk. The crews of Russian ship will visit the Iranian boats. A friendly soccer match and tug-of-war competitions between the teams of Caspian Flotilla and Iranian navy men will be held on Sunday.