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Russian warship to visit naval base in Panama

04.12.2008 Source: en.rian.ru

A Russian destroyer will visit on December 5-10 a former U.S. naval facility in Panama as part of the task force's current Caribbean tour, a Navy spokesman said on Wednesday.

The Udaloy class destroyer Admiral Chabanenko participated this week in the VenRus-2008 joint Russian-Venezuelan naval exercise in the southern Caribbean as part of a task force from the Northern Fleet, led by the nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky.

"During the current visit to the Caribbean, the Admiral Chabanenko will pay a visit to the Rodman Naval Station in Panama," Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo said.

The 64-year-old naval base was once the hub for all U.S. naval activities in South America and supported U.S. warships going through the Panama Canal. The base was turned over to Panama in 1999 under the Panama Canal Treaty of 1977.

Russian and Venezuelan warships successfully concluded on Tuesday the active phase of VenRus-2008, during which they practiced deployment, coordinated tactical maneuvering, air defense, search, pursuit and the detention of a ship suspected of illegal activities.

The Russian task force arrived in Venezuela at the end of November, following a two-month tour of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, which saw Russian ships visiting Libya, Turkey and France.

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