ST. PETERSBURG, September 13 (Itar-Tass) - Russia’s naval group in the Mediterranean will be reinforced to the limits allowing to avert the slightest threat to the state borders and security, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy Admiral Viktor Chirkov stated on Friday.
“Russia will build up its grouping in the Mediterranean to the self-sufficiency limit for fulfilling the set tasks. The tasks are totally clear - to avert the slightest threat to the borders and security of the state,” he told reporters on Friday.
According to the commander-in-chief, “All fleets in the world have such practice - to be present where tension is growing.”
Russia’s permanent naval task force in the eastern part of the Mediterranean is currently comprised of the large landing ships Peresvet, Admiral Nevelsky, Minsk, Novocherkassk, Alexander Shabalin, the Admiral Panteleyev large anti-submarine ship and the Neustrashimy patrol ship. “In the near future the group will be supplemented by the Moskva guided-missile cruiser, Smetlivy patrol ship and Nikolai Filchenkov large landing ship. They all act according to the operational command plan in the far sea zone,” Chirkov informed.
Russia began building up forces in the Mediterranean in 2012. Last December, the Russian Navy started its constant naval presence mission in the eastern part of the Mediterranean. The ships and support vessels, performing tasks in the Mediterranean, have been grouped into a naval task force for better organisation of the force command and control. On May 1, 2013, the control agency - operational command of the far sea zone, which is currently on board the Admiral Panteleyev ship, was formed.
Later on Friday, Black Sea Fleet spokesman Vyacheslav Trukhachev told Itar-Tass that two more warships of the Black Sea Fleet -- the guard ship Smetlivy and the large landing ship Nikolai Filchenkov -- have passed through the Bosphorus-Dardanelles strait zone. They join the permanent operational naval group in the Mediterranean.