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Russia Has No Plans to Expand Mediterranean Fleet – Source

RIA Novosti [1]
September 3, 2013

Russia’s naval force in the Mediterranean Sea will not be expanded despite the worsening situation [2] in the region, a military-diplomatic source in Moscow told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.

“There have been no orders to expand anything there, and there will not be. The strength and type of forces that we have in the Mediterranean Sea today are sufficient to keep us fully informed about what is happening,” the source said.

He also confirmed local media reports Monday that the electronic intelligence ship Priazovye is being sent to the region, but explained that this is part of regular rotation within Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.

“Yes, we want to know what is happening in this key region in which Russia has serious interests. We want to see and know what is happening there, what to prepare for in this region,” the source added.

He also said Russia’s existing flotillas in the Mediterranean Sea are undergoing routine rotations, and stressed “this is a regular rotation process, planned at the start of the year.”

“Our military presence in this region predates the Syrian conflict [3], and will continue after it, and so it would be wrong to draw any connection between the rotation of our ships in the Mediterranean region and events in Syria,” RIA Novosti’s anonymous source added.