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MOSCOW, May 12. /TASS/. Chinese frigates The Linyi and The Weifang, as well as Russian missile corvette The Samum have left the port of Novorossiysk for the site of the Maritime Cooperation-2015 naval exercises in the Mediterranean, the Russian Defense Ministry said Tuesday.
The ministry said the vessels will practice joint maneuvering and communications.
"Today at 17:00 Moscow Time, quay No. 34 in Novorossiysk hosted the departure ceremony for Chinese navy combat vessels The Linyi and The Weifang. The Chinese combat vessels and the Samum Russian missile hovercraft have set course for the Bosporus and Dardanelles Straits, after which they will arrive at the assigned area of the Maritime Cooperation 2015 naval drills in the Mediterranean," the ministry’s statement said.
It said that Russian and Chinese navy sailors were seen off to the sea by the commanders of the drills from the Russian and Chinese sides - deputy Russian navy commander Vice Admiral Alexander Fedotenkov and deputy Chinese navy commander Vice Admiral Du Jingchen, as well as representatives of the united exercise control staff and servicemen of the Novorossiysk garrison and the Novorossiysk naval base.
"A few hours prior to the departure from Novorossiysk, a practical action play was conducted with the vessels’ sailors on maps, they were instructed on security measures and a number of preparatory measures to put to sea were taken," the ministry said.
The Maritime Cooperation 2015 drills, whose active phase will take place in the Mediterranean Sea on May 17-21, will involve nine combat vessels of different classes of the Russian and Chinese navies.
From the Russian side, these will be six vessels led by the Black Sea Fleet’s flagship missile-carrying cruiser The Moskva, patrol ship The Ladny and two amphibious assault ships The Aleksandr Otrakovsky and The Alexander Shabalin, as well as a salvage tug and missile-carrying hovercraft The Samum.
China has delegated two frigates: The Linyi and The Weifang, and a support ship.
China’s patrol frigates arrived in the southern Russian port of Novorossiysk on May 8. On May 9, the Victory Day, Chinese crews took part in solemn events dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s Victory over Nazi Germany in World War II and in sports competitions with Russian navy sailors.