Russia must be a naval power - Medvedev
Russia needs to be revived as a naval power, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said. "One must revive the navy so that Russia is a naval power," Medvedev said at a meeting with crewmembers of the Kapitan Morgun shipping vessel in Murmansk on Friday. "We were respected when we were naval power," Medvedev said. "Such work is slower than one would like it to be, but this is the first time in the past 20 years that we have tackled it," Medvedev said.
Russian cruiser heads for the Mediterranean
The missile cruiser The Moskva has set sail for military exercises in the Mediterranean Sea. The mission is part of Russia’s programme of reviving its navy for the 21st century. First commissioned in 1983, it is the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. The ‘Moskva’, former ‘Slava’ is an 11,490 tonne vessel. It has just embarked on a new mission and is sailing for the Mediterranean. Leaving the historic port of Sevastopol, it will make its way through the Bosporus strait before reaching an undisclosed destination somewhere near Malta. Here the cruiser will join the Northern Fleet for training exercises, as the Russian Navy renews its military patrol of the Mediterranean. The move is supported by First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Mevedev, who has called for Russia’s maritime power to be restored. “We hope for the best. This is the first time since the Soviet Union that such mission will be conducted on such a scale,” a sailor says. The composition of the fleet is extensive. An aircraft carrier, anti-submarine ships, more than 40 planes and ten helicopters will support the ‘Moskva’ missile cruiser. “The cruiser will carry out two missile shooting exercises. The first shooting - form its main striking system. The second will be an anti-aircraft shooting. The cruiser is fully equipped and ready for exercises and we hope it will perform successfully,” said Aleksandr Klyotskov, Black Sea Fleet Commander. The Moskva will drop anchor in crowded sea and close-by will be another dominant naval power - the U.S. Sixth Fleet. But the Moskva won’t be there for long, next stop is the Atlantic.
Russian Navy to conduct exercises in the Atlantic next week
Russian warships from the Northern and the Black Sea fleets will conduct joint maneuvers next week in the Atlantic Ocean, the Northern Fleet commander said on Thursday. A Naval Task Force, consisting of the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, the Udaloy-Class destroyers Admiral Levchenko and Admiral Chabanenko, and auxiliary vessels, is currently on a two-month tour of duty in the Mediterranean Sea and North Atlantic. Vice-Admiral Nikolai Maksimov, who leads the task force on the tour, said the Moskva guided missile cruiser of the Black Sea Fleet, which left Sevastopol on January 12, was to join the group in the next few days. "We will meet in the Atlantic on January 20 and start a joint exercise," Maksimov said. "The two fleets and strategic bombers will practice interoperability for several days." He said the current expedition to the Mediterranean, which started on December 5, is aimed at ensuring Russia's naval presence "in the key operational areas of the world oceans" and establishing conditions for secure Russian maritime navigation. "I think that after this visit to the Mediterranean and France, the first in 15 years, we will establish a permanent presence in the region," the admiral said. "We have discussed naval cooperation with our French colleagues and they confirmed their readiness to receive our combat ships at French ports in 2008, including at Toulon," he added.
Dmitrii Medvedev meets High North challenges in Murmansk
During his visit to Murmansk today, First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitrii Medvedev said that the Russian Navy will have to be strengthened. –Russia must be a great military power at sea, he stressed. Mr. Medvedev, who today started his presidential campaign in the regions with a visit to Murmansk, admitted that the strengthening of the fleet might proceed slower than what is desired. However, he stressed that the reinforced focus on the Navy is the first in 20 years. In a meeting with the crew of the trawler “Kapitan Morgun”, the presidential hopeful was told that Norway is conducting a hostile line against Russian fishery interests. According to Rosbaltnord.ru, the crew members told Mr Medvedev that Norwegian military vessels are constantly at sea and that they are “demonstrating power”. They felt more secure at sea earlier when they knew that they could get support from Russian vessels at any time. -The Navy vessel are not present because we simply do not have them, Mr Medvedev said, and repeated that a modernization of the fleet is a priority. Dmitrii Medveded is on a tour to 11-regions, many of them in Northwest Russia as part of his bid for the Russian presidency. Also Arkhangelsk Oblast and the Nenets Autonomous Okrug will be visited.