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Media: Russian Citizens and Military Personnel to Leave Syria

Media: Russian Citizens and Military Personnel to Leave Syria 21.06.2012
Text: Vzglyad
Photo: Landing ship Nikolai Filchenkov. flot.sevastopol.info
Russian authorities are getting ready for evacuation of civilians and military personnel from Syria if conflict between regular troops and armed opposition escalates or in case of foreign military intervention.

"Russian Armed Forces including the Navy and other services began preparations for possible employment in Syria. Most likely, that would be evacuation of Russian citizens and military personnel working in Russian Navy's technical maintenance base in Syrian port Tartus", reported Vedomosti citing its sources in security agencies.

However, so far it has not been told to dispatch Russian ships in the nearest days. Therefore, defense ministry's denial of plans to send certain ships of Black Sea and even Baltic fleets to Syria in a short time is absolutely correct, pointed out one of the interviewees. According to Vedomosti, in Tuesday evening, defense ministry confuted reports that Baltic Fleet landing ship Kaliningrad would be dispatched to Syria.

A Black Sea Fleet officer told Vedomosti on Wednesday that no orders to send landing ships Caesar Kunikov and Nikolai Filchenkov to Syria had been received so far. Moreover, the officer said that Nikolai Filchenkov moored at Sevastopol at the time was about to head for Novorossiysk for training purposes and return back on June 25.

According to CNN referring to the Pentagon insiders, those two ships were preparing to depart for Syria.

Meanwhile, interviewees of Vedomosti say that apart from defense ministry other agencies like EMERCOM were also tasked to develop evacuation plans in order to withdraw Russian citizens.

However, neither defense ministry nor EMERCOM gave official comments.

As for Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, about 100,000 Russian citizens currently reside in Syria.

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