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Russia, Egypt plan to sign agreement of simplified port visits procedure by yearend

The Russian-Egyptian naval exercise Friendship Bridge-2015 in the Mediterranean entered the active phase on June 10

ALEXANDRIA /Egypt/, June 14. /TASS/. Russian and Egypt plan to sign an agreement on simplified procedure for port visits by their ships by the end of this year, Russian deputy Navy Commander Alexander Fedotenkov said on Sunday.

He spoke at a news conference dedicated to the results of the first Russian-Egyptian naval drills Friendship Bridge-2015 that ended on Saturday.

"Several days ago, a joint commission ended its work and we have practically agreed the bulk of provisions of a future agreement on the simplified procedure for port visits by our countries’ ships," he said. "In August, the Egyptian part of the commission will arrive in Moscow to finalize this agreement and get it prepared for signing, which is planned at the end of this year. It is a very quick development of such a serious document."

Fedotenkov said the development of the Russian Navy was being conducted in strict compliance with the programme of development up to the year 2050. The programme was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in May 2015. "We have encountered certain problems stemming from the necessity to substitute for imported equipment. But nonetheless we are keeping within the parameters planned for this year in this programme," he said. "We are finishing state trials of the Admiral Grigorovich patrol ship which is to be handed over to the Russian Black Sea Fleet after the celebrations of the Navy Day in St. Petersburg. We are building ships and boats under other projects and the works are being performed as scheduled. The Black Sea Fleet is a priroty task."

The Russian-Egyptian naval exercise Friendship Bridge-2015 in the Mediterranean entered the active phase on June 10. The Russian and Egyptian ships drilled skills to organize air defence, search for, rescue and tug to safety a ship in distress, transfer cargoes from a helicopter on the move and inspect a suspicious ship.

Russia’s naval group participating in the exercise consisted of the guided missile cruiser The Moskva, missile-carrying hovercraft The Samum, tanker ship The Ivan Bubnov, sea-going tug MB-31, and amphibious assault ship The Aleksandr Shabalin. Egypt delegated two frigates-The Taba and The Sharm El-Sheikh, two missile boats -The April 25 and The June 18 and the Shalatin tanker.