Russia plans to send a permanent group of combat ships to the Mediterranean Sea, Russian Navy chief Admiral Viktor Chirkov said, according to reports in the Russian media. Frigates and cruisers will make up the fleet.
"Up to five or six ships must be on a permanent basis in the Mediterranean Sea. They should be controlled through the command of the Black Sea Fleet," Russian TV channel Zvezda quoted Admiral Chirkov as saying.
Supply vessels will also be included in the permanent deployment to the Mediterranean, according to the media outlet RT.
The decision to send Russian ships to the Mediterranean's waters was first announced on March 11 by Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu.
"I think that we have everything to create and maintain such a grouping. Certainly, this shows the positive dynamics of development of the Navy," Shoigu told top officers of the Russian Armed Forces. By 2020, the Russian Navy will include eight missile submarines, 16 multipurpose subs and 54 combat ships, he added.
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