Moscow’s “Responsibility to Protect”: Russian Navy Expands Mediterranean Fleet to Ten Warships
By Russia Today
September 13, 2013
The Russian Navy intends to build its presence in the Mediterranean Sea – particularly in the area close to Syrian shores – to up to 10 battleships, announced Admiral of the Fleet Viktor Chirkov.
“The task is crystal clear: to avoid a slightest threat to the security of the state. This is a general practice of all fleets around the world, to be there when a tension level increases. They are all going to act on operational command plan of the offshore maritime zone,” Chirkov told journalists on Friday. “Russia will be building up its Mediterranean fleet until it is deemed sufficient to perform the task set.”
Russia began military build-up in the Mediterranean in 2012, and starting from December last year the Navy established a constant presence in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea.
On May 1, 2013 all Russian battleships operating in the area were assigned to a single task force under special offshore maritime zone operation command.
Currently there are seven warships deployed in the area: landing craft carriers ‘Aleksandr Shabalin’, ‘Admiral Nevelskoy’, ‘Peresvet’, ‘Novocherkassk’ and ‘Minsk’ from Russia’s Black and Baltic Sea Fleets, as well as the escort vessel ‘Neustrashimy’, and large anti-submarine ship ‘Admiral Panteleyev’.