MOSCOW, September 6 (Itar-Tass) - Russian Navy continues building up its grouping of ships in the Mediterranean, a source at the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces told Itar-Tass, a source at the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces told Itar-Tass.
A third big amphibious ship, The Nikolai Filchenkov, which belongs to the Black Sea Fleet, is due to leave on a mission to the Mediterranean shortly.
The Nikolai Filchenkov is moored on its base in Sevastopol at the moment and that is why the mass media reports that it is already heading for the designated area in the Mediterranean run counter to reality, the spokesman said. Friday night, the ship will take aboard an anti-terror group and will make a passage from Crimea to the Russian seaport of Novorossiysk where the cargos due to be delivered to the Syrian port of Tartous will be loaded into it.
“After that The Nikolai Filchenkov will set sail for the Turkish Straits and will reach the Eastern Mediterranean area September 11 or September 12 after it passes the Bosporus and the Dardanelles,” the spokesman said.
“The ship’s destination is the port of Tartous where the Russian has a repairs and maintenance base and where The Nikolai Filchenko is expected to deliver the supplies,” he said.
After the unloading in Tartous, The Nikolai Filchenkov will continue its tour of duty as it joins the permanent naval grouping in Eastern Mediterranean and gets ready for an evacuation of Russian citizens from Syria upon getting an appropriate order from the General Staff or for engagement in other emergency operations.
“Similar tasks have been issued to the big amphibious ships Novocherkassk and Minsk of the Black Sea and Baltic Fleets that left Novorossiysk September 3 and arrived in the eastern sector of the Mediterranean Friday morning to strengthen the Black Sea grouping,” the spokesman said.
He also indicated that the scout ship Priazovye, also assigned to the grouping, began observations of the situation in the area adjoining the Syrian shore right upon arrival in the Mediterranean.
The spokesman confirmed that the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, the guard missile cruiser Moskva, would enter the Mediterranean in mid-September and would join the grouping, too.
“After it passes the Strait of Gibraltar, it will call into the Spanish port of Ceuta /on the North-African coast/ to replenishing its reserves and will then join the Russian naval grouping,” the spokesman said
“It hasn’t been decided yet whether or not The Moskva will immediately replace the Pacific Fleet’s big antisubmarine ship The Admiral Panteleyev as the flagship of the grouping,” he said. “Quite possibly, both ships will be acting in combination over a certain period of time.”