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Russia's Pyotr Veliky missile cruiser ensures Syrian chemical weapons destruction safety

January 14, 2014, 15:34 UTC+3 MOSCOW
January 7, the Pyotr Veliky missile cruiser and a Chinese patrol cutter escorted the Danish Ark Futura ship carrying the first batch of components of Syrian chemical weapons
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© ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, January 14. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky ensures safety of destruction of Syrian chemical weapons in the Mediterranean, Captain 1st Rank Oleg Peshkurov, commander of the Russian naval task force in the Mediterranean, reported to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

“The heavy nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky from the Russian naval task force in the Mediterranean is engaged in the mission to ensure security from the sea of the loading operation at Latakia port, as well as to escort in the Syrian territorial waters the Norwegian and Danish vessels, transporting components of Syrian chemical weapons,” Peshkurov told the minister via video link on Tuesday at a conference call at the ministry’s situational centre.

According to Peshkurov, a staff coordination centre has been deployed on the cruiser “for organizing interactive operation during the chemical weapons’ transportation by sea.” “The centre comprises members of the Russian naval task force, as well as signal corps officers from the Danish, Norwegian and Chinese naval ships,” the commander said.

“Current information exchange has been arranged between missions of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations in Cyprus, in the Syrian Arab Republic and the international naval forces,” the officer reported. “I personally direct the activity of the coordination centre,” he stressed.

He said that on January 7, the Pyotr Veliky missile cruiser and a Chinese patrol cutter escorted the Danish Ark Futura ship carrying the first batch of components of Syrian chemical weapons on its trip from Latakia port. “The cruiser crew has successfully accomplished its mission,” the naval unit commander said. “The missile cruiser is currently staying in the designated area (of the Mediterranean), prepared for further operations for safe transportation of chemical weapons.

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