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Russian warships to exercise in Mediterranean, Black Sea

(Xinhua)

14:30, July 11, 2012

MOSCOW, July 10 (Xinhua) -- A group of warships from three Russian fleets will perform combat training missions in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, the Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.

The naval force comprises the anti-submarine ship Admiral Chabanenko, the Alexander Otrakovsky, Georgy Pobedonosets and Kondopoga large amphibious assault ships, as well as the Nikolai Chiker and Sergei Osipov support vessels, the ministry said in a statement.

The warships from the Northern, the Baltic and the Black Sea fleets, have already been heading for the Atlantic to join in a group of Baltic Fleet ships, and then will carry out their tasks in the target waters.

However, the ministry didn't give specific dates of the training missions.

In January, three Russian ships, including Admiral Chabanenko and two escort ships, visited Syrian port of Tartus. Moscow said the move was pre-scheduled and had no connection with the situation in Syria.

Since last December, Russia has sent several warships to the waters off Syria, including its flagship aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, despite concerns of the western countries that the moves were related to the Syrian situation.

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