MOSCOW, March 11 (Itar-Tass) – A Russian rapid response naval force in the Mediterranean Sea will be formed mainly from the warships of the Russian Northern Fleet, a source in the Russian Defence Ministry told Itar-Tass on Monday.
“The numerical strength of the warships of the Northern Fleet will make 60-70% in a Russian rapid response naval force in the Mediterranean Sea. Other warships will be brought from the Black Sea Fleet. In the future this rapid response naval force will probably include the warships of the Pacific Fleet, but their participation is not considered yet,” he said.
This decision was taken, because the Northern Fleet has “the most numerous and modern composition of warships” in the Russian Navy, the source said.
The headquarters of the naval force will be located at the building, which houses the High Command of the Russian Navy in St. Petersburg, from where the command will be made. In the future the headquarters of the naval force will be put under the command of a Russian fleet. A new flagship will be assigned each time in the forming of a rapid response task force. The rapid response task force from the headquarters of the task force will be deployed onboard the flagship.
On Monday, Russian Defence Minister General Sergei Shoigu stated that Russia decided “to form the command of a rapid response naval force in the Mediterranean Sea region, where this naval force will be deployed on the permanent basis.” “I believe that we have all the capacities to form and provide for operating of this naval force. Certainly, this points to the positive dynamics in the development of the Russian Navy,” the defence minister said at an enlarged meeting of the top brass of the Russian Armed Forces.
With the intensive growth of the expenditures on the fleet, the scope of its tasks is expanding, expert for naval weapons and chief editor of the specific edition Moscow Defense Brief Mikhail Barabanov told Itar-Tass on Monday. “Meanwhile, from the geopolitical point of view the deployment of the Russian rapid response naval force in the Mediterranean Sea will permit Russia to demonstrate the country’s national flag naturally and to have a certain instrument (just a potential instrument) to settle political problems, if it is needed. Finally, this deployment will provide the Russian fleet with constant voyages that is to say simply “sea navigation practice”. This is positive as it is,” the expert noted.