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Russia to dispatch aircraft carrying cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov to Syria’s Tartus

Warship expected to reach destination by the end of the year

MOSCOW, August 30 (Itar-Tass) - The command of the Russian Navy did not change its plans to dispatch the heavy aircraft carrying missile cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov in the Syrian city of Tartus at the end of this year, an informed source in the Russian Defence Ministry told Itar-Tass on Friday.

“At the end of the year, most likely in early December, the Project 11435 heavy aircraft carrying missile cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov will go on a long sea mission, during which she will call at the Russian logistic naval base, which is deployed in the Syrian city of Tartus,” he said.

The source refused to make public the exact date for the cruiser to leave its base in Severomorsk.

“Despite a sharply deteriorating situation in this region (in Syria), the Russian naval command does not refuse from a scheduled mission of the cruiser to the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea. The schedule of the mission is already agreed upon,” the source said.

The source also noted that a forthcoming visit of the only Russian aircraft carrying cruiser in Tartus is not linked with a tense situation in Syria.

Last time the flagship Admiral Kuznetsov of the Russian Navy paid a routine visit to Tartus in January 2012 in the naval aircraft carrying grouping.

The Admiral Kuznetsov can carry heavy deck fighters Sukhoi Su-33, assault warplanes Sukhoi Su-25 and anti-submarine helicopters Kamov Ka-27.

The heavy aircraft carrying missile cruiser was laid at the shipyard in Nikolayev in September 1982, set afloat in December 1985 and the Russian naval flag was hoisted on the cruiser on January 20, 1991. The deck of the warship is 306 metres long, 75 metres wide and a water displacement of the cruiser is 60,000 tonnes.