Russian historical epic Viking to be released in Italy, UKSociety & Culture March 30, 2:11
Putin visits ice cave during Arctic tourSociety & Culture March 30, 0:02
West’s reaction to Russian protests part of long-planned campaign - diplomatRussian Politics & Diplomacy March 29, 23:56
Putin orders Defense Ministry and FSB to ensure protection of Russia’s interests in ArcticMilitary & Defense March 29, 21:46
Kiev aware of few chances to win in debt lawsuit case — envoyBusiness & Economy March 29, 20:52
Russian top diplomat dismisses claims about human rights violations in Crimea as liesRussian Politics & Diplomacy March 29, 20:23
Moscow suspects Jabhat al-Nusra could be used to topple AssadRussian Politics & Diplomacy March 29, 19:58
Lavrov reiterates there are no facts substantiating Iran’s links to terroristsRussian Politics & Diplomacy March 29, 19:40
Russia to upgrade helicopter protection system based on Syrian experienceMilitary & Defense March 29, 19:00
MOSCOW, March 21 (Itar-Tass) – The Russian Ministry of Defense denied the reports that Russian warships will not tank up in Syria's Tartus and that they have been redirected to Lebanon's Beirut to resupply.
"The reports that Russian warships will visit the Lebanese port of Beirut for resupply and crew recreation instead of Syria's Tartus which accommodates the Russian sustainment center, disseminated by a number of Russian mass media outlets citing an military and diplomatic source, are no more than an invention," the Ministry said an in official press release on Thursday.
Tartus remains the official site of basing and repairs of Russian ships in the Mediterranean. "Indeed, a Russian Navy taskforce comprising the Yaroslav Mudry patrol frigate and the large landing ships Kaliningrad and Alexander Shablin has recently made a call to Beirut recently at Lebanon's invitation. However, "associating this event with the plans to give up the sustainment center in Tartus with the view of seeking new naval bases in the Mediterranean is incorrect, at the very least," the Russian Defense Ministry said.
Earlier on Thursday, a Russian military and diplomatic source said Russian warships would tank up in Beirut, Lebanon, instead of the Syrian port of Tartus where the Russian Navy has a sustainment center /PMTO/, because of the armed conflict in Syria.
"A sharp escalation of the armed conflict in Syria and the speculations around the call to Tartus by our ships are making us look for safer ports for their business alls. One of such ports is certainly in Lebanon's Beirut. This work is underway already.
The source referred to the recent visit to Beirut by a Baltic Fleet task force comprising the Yaroslav Mudry patrol frigate and the Kaliningrad and the Alexander Shabalin large landing ships. "According to the task force command, our sailors liked the local authorities' arrangements for the business call," he added.
The official underlined that Russia was not giving up its sustainment base in Tartus and that it was not looking for new locations of supply bases in the Mediterranean. "Tartus remains the only official basing site of Russian ships. When events in Syria become more predictable, we'll be able to decide on further use of the sustainment center," the military diplomat said.