Russia’s Mediterranean Task Force to Comprise 5-6 Warships
Text: RIA Novosty
Photo: Public relations service of the Southern Command
The Russian Navy will maintain 5-6 warships in the Mediterranean Sea as a task force to defend Russia’s interests in the area, Navy Commander Adm. Viktor Chirkov said.
"Up to five-six warships must be present in the Mediterranean Sea on a permanent basis and control must be exercised through the command of the [Russian] Black Sea Fleet,” Chirkov said in an interview with the Zvezda TV network run by the Defense Ministry.
The Russian Navy’s Mediterranean task force will comprise frigates and cruisers, as well as support vessels, he said.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Monday a decision to deploy a permanent naval task force in the Mediterranean had been made.
“I believe that we have the capability to form and maintain such a task force,” Shoigu said, citing the success of recent large-scale naval drills carried out by the Russian navy in the Mediterranean and Black seas.