Russia to station 5-6 warships in Med

March 17, 2013 at 10:25 AM
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MOSCOW, March 17 (UPI) -- Russia's new naval task force in the Mediterranean Sea will likely consist of five or six ships, Moscow's top admiral said Sunday.

Adm. Viktor Chirkov told a government television network the task force will include cruisers, frigates and support ships, although he did not specify when it would deploy or where it might be based.

Moscow announced this week it would maintain a full-time naval presence in the Mediterranean for the first time since 1992.

Chirkov told a government television network the unit would consist of cruisers, frigates and support ships under the command of the Black Sea Fleet.

Russia has been conducting large-scale naval maneuvers in the Med and Black Seas in recent years, Russia's RIA Novosti news agency said.

The old 5th Mediterranean Squadron numbered 30-50 vessels during the Cold War and acted as a Soviet counterweight to the U.S. 6th Fleet, RIA Novosti said.

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