Published time: 10 Oct, 2016 09:22
FILE PHOTO. Russia’s nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky navy sailors at Syria’s Mediterranean port of Tartus. © Grigoriy Sisoev / Sputnik
“We are going to have a permanent Navy base in Tartus. We have prepared the paperwork, which is now being reviewed by other government agencies. The documents are pretty much ready, so we hope to submit them to you for ratification soon,” General Nikolay Pankov, deputy defense minister responsible for communication with other parts of the Russian government, told the Federation Council, Russia’s senate.
The upgraded base would have comprehensive defense systems and other capabilities, which the current supply post does not have, Leonid Slutsky, the chair of the State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee, told Rossiya 24 news TV.
“It will have not only docking facilities, but also a command and control system, an air defense system. A naval base needs to be able to defend itself and all its infrastructure,” he said. “Of course it would have anti-submarine defense capabilities.”
The Tartus facility has been in place since 1977. After the collapse of the Soviet Union it was used to resupply and repair Russian warships deployed to missions in the Mediterranean Sea, but did not serve as a permanent base for any of them.
Last week Russia confirmed delivery of an advanced anti-aircraft missile system to Tartus to protect the port facility and mooring warships from potential airstrikes and missile attacks.
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