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ASTRAKHAN, September 4 (Itar-Tass) - Three ships of the Azerbaijani Navy are to call at Astrakhan on Wednesday for a reciprocal friendly visit. They are to moor at the city's main embankment near Peter the Great Square, Captain 1st Rank Alexander Prokhorov, Deputy Commander of the Caspian Flotilla, told Itar-Tass.
The guests will be accompanied by a Russian small artillery ship Volgodonsk.
The visit will be a one-day and busy one. After a welcoming ceremony, the guests, of whom there will be about 80, will make a sightseeing tour of the city, lay wreaths at the Eternal Flame and flower at the monument to the First President of Azerbaijan, Geidar Aliyev, meet with the Command of the Caspian Flotilla and the leadership of Astrakhan Region. Even sports events are also planned out: a mini-football match and a tug-of-war athletic contest," Prokhorov pointed out.
An official in the press service of the Southern Military District related that an interesting program has been also arranged for locals. The ships of the Azerbaijani Navy will "keep the doors open" for two hours for all those wishing to tour the vessels. It will be possible to take photos and tour the cabins and deck-houses of the ships. At 7 p.m., a joint concert of the naval bands of the Navy of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Caspian Flotilla headquarters will take place in the Peter the Great Square.
The arriving naval squadron comprises a patrol ship of Design 159A, a command ship of Design 888, and a tugboat. The friendly visit will be made under the direction of Vice-Admiral Shakhin Sultanov, Commander of Azerbaijan's Navy.
Caspian Flotilla representatives visited the Republic of Azerbaijan several times. This year, the missile ship "Daghestan" and the small artillery ship Volgodonsk visited Baku early in August. It was at that time that the sides agreed on a reply visit.