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Russian warships will be deployed as a permanent naval task force in the Mediterranean Sea starting from 2015, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily cited a source in the military quarters as saying on Monday. The backbones of the naval task force will make the warships from the Russian Black Sea Fleet, which is similar to the 5th Mediterranean Operational Squadron, which existed in the Soviet Navy.
A new naval task force will resolve scheduled and urgent combat tasks on the Mediterranean theatre of war on the permanent basis, particularly to rebuff the threats from this direction for national and military security of Russia.
Most apparently, now the Russian naval task force in the Mediterranean Sea became vitally needed, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said in Sevastopol last week. On board the cruiser Moskva he stated that “the Russian Navy can fulfil the tasks in any regions of the world ocean that are important for Russian national interests. The Mediterranean Sea is this region now. The most significant threats to our national interests are concentrated here.”
Former commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet and Chairman of the State Duma Defence Committee Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov told the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily that “the permanent deployment of our fleet in the Mediterranean Sea is needed.” The deputy noted that the number of military and other threats coming from this region as compared with the Soviet times went up considerably. The Middle East, North Africa are turning in the zone of permanent military conflicts, the US is getting ready to deploy on the warships in the Mediterranean Sea their new missile defence system, which will threaten Russia. “In these conditions, certainly, we should form new naval task forces to rebuff these threats,” the admiral believes.