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Russian Navy to rotate warships in Mediterranean

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-08-30 05:19

MOSCOW - Russian Navy will conduct a routine ships rotation early September in the Mediterranean Sea, the country's Defense Ministry said Thursday.

Currently, guard ship Neustrashimy, large assault landing ships Shabalin, Admiral Nevelsky and Peresvet are fulfilling tasks in strategic regions in the Mediterranean, the ministry said in a report issued Thursday.

These ships will be replaced by large anti-boat ship Admiral Panteleyev, which will serve as the commanding headquarters, and large assault landing ships Minsk and Novocherkassk, which will come from Novorossiysk, said the ministry.

The regrouping is expected to take place on September 1-7, the ministry said, adding warships which have finished their missions in the Mediterranean will head to Novorossiysk for routine maintenance and replenishment.

Earlier Thursday, Interfax news agency, citing a source in Russian Armed Forces' general staff, reported that Moscow was sending a missile cruiser from the Black Sea Fleet and a large anti-submarine ship from the Northern Fleet to the Mediterranean Sea in the coming days. The Defense Ministry made no comments on the report.

Russia's possible moves in the Mediterranean have drawn huge attention from the world, as a possible U.S.-led military attack on Syria over alleged chemical weapons use by the Syrian government has been debated heatedly lately and received mixed reactions.

Russia has repeatedly admonished against possible military intervention in the Syrian crisis, stressing that such attempts would undermine efforts for a political settlement, destabilize the country and the entire Middle East.

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