Russian Navy to have permanent presence in Mediterranean

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY,   |   June 6, 2013 at 2:26 PM
| License Photo

Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country plans to keep a permanent naval presence in the Mediterranean Sea, citing the instability caused by the Syrian civil war.

“This is a strategically important region,” Putin said Thursday at a meeting with military commanders. “We have our national interests here, linked to the need to maintain national security."

"Resuming a permanent Russian military naval presence in the Mediterranean sea isn’t saber rattling,” he said.

Russia's 16-ship fleet will visit Syrian ports, the only ports Russia maintains outside of the former Soviet Union. It began stepping up patrols in the Mediterranean after the outbreak of the 2-year-old conflict in Syria.

In March, the defense ministry moved to upgrade the fleet to a standing force, and Putin ordered a large-scale exercise involving 36 ships.

The last time Russia maintained a permanent presence in the Mediterranean was before the collapse of the Soviet Union more than 20 years ago.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more news from
Related UPI Stories
share with facebook
share with twitter
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories