Russian Navy does need technical maintenance base in Tartus, Syria, said Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief Vice Admiral Viktor Chirkov on June 25 addressing the graduates honoring ceremony in the Konstantinovsky Palace, St. Petersburg.
Answering the question about feasibility of the Tartus naval maintenance base, VADM Viktor Chirkov stressed that the base is used only for repair and supplies replenishment.
"Technical maintenance base in Syrian Tartus has been and will be working", the naval chef said. "As long as Russian Navy performs missions in the Gulf of Aden and the Mediterranean Sea, this base is critical for us", he concluded.
Recall that in 2012 Russian warships called at Tartus port many times. To replenish supplies, destroyer Admiral Chabanenko, frigate Ladny, and tanker Lena, being deployed with the Russian Navy's carrier group in the Mediterranean, visited the port in Jan 2012. Aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov and rescue tug Nikolai Chiker were anchored off the Tartus port then. The last Russian warship visiting Tartus was destroyer Smetlivy patrolled Syrian coast in the spring 2012.
As was earlier reported, crews of Black Sea Fleet (BSF) landing ships Nikolai Filchenkov and Caesar Kunikov were suddenly told to get ready for deployment to Syria. However, Russian military officials have not confirmed that information and refuted rumors that Baltic Fleet (BF) landing ship Kaliningrad was allegedly dispatched to Syria.
Sources in the Russian defense ministry said that cargo ship MV Alaed carrying military cargo to Syria (delivery of helicopters to Syrian Air Force under formerly signed contract) would be escorted, although not by Russian Navy's ship.