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Northern Fleet aircraft carrier group to ensure security of Syrian chemical weapons

January 15, 2014, 13:13 UTC+3 ST PETERSBURG
After refueling in the west of the Mediterranean Sea the aircraft carrier group will leave for the eastern area of the Mediterranean near the coast of Syria
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© EPA/ITAR-TASS

ST. PETERSBURG, January 15. /ITAR-TASS/. Northern Fleet’s aircraft carrier group led by the Admiral Kuznetsov heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser will take part in ensuring security of Syrian chemical weapons to be transported to the Mediterranean Sea due to be eliminated then, an official of the Russian Navy Main Headquarters told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

“After refueling in the west of the Mediterranean Sea the aircraft carrier group will leave for the eastern area of the Mediterranean near the coast of Syria where it is used in a maritime phase of the operation for ensuring security while Syrian chemical weapons will be eliminated,” the official said.

“The Admiral Levchenko destroyer jointly with ships of other states or independently is planning to accompany foreign vessels with components of Syrian chemical weapons from the port of Latakia,” he said, adding, “The Su-33 fighters are expected to put an umbrella over Syrian chemical arsenals.”

The Admiral Levchenko will ensure security for eliminating chemical weapons in parallel with the Pyotr Velikiy heavy nuclear rocket cruiser or replace it because “it is not expedient to such vessel to carry out the task. Now this problem is being finalized”, the official said.

The aircraft-carrying group led by the Admiral Kuznetsov is passing through Gibraltar to the Mediterranean water area. The first group, involving the Admiral Kuznetsov and the Admiral Levchenko, have entered the Mediterranean Sea. The second group will pass through the straits in the afternoon.

Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry’s press service reported, “On January 7, the Pyotr Velikiy heavy missile cruiser in close cooperation with China’s missile frigate ‘Yancheng’ carried out a responsible task to accompany and ensure security of the Danish ship ‘Ark Futura’ with the first batch of chemical weapons.”

“The task was carried out successfully,” the ministry said.

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