Monday, December 15, 2008

Russian warships to visit Cuba Friday - Navy


MOSCOW, December 15 (RIA Novosti) - Three Northern Fleet warships will arrive in Havana on Friday for the Russian Navy's first visit to Cuba since the Cold War, a Navy spokesman said on Monday.

"This will be the first visit to Cuba by Russian warships since the Soviet days," Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo said

The Admiral Chabanenko missile destroyer and two support ships will stay in Cuba until December 23.

"Cubans will have an opportunity to visit the Russian ships," he said.

MOSCOW, December 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Admiral Levchenko missile destroyer and a support ship will begin a visit to Lisbon on Friday, a Navy spokesman said on Monday.

The Udaloy-class destroyer is part of a task force from Russia's Northern Fleet led by the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, which is currently on its way to the Mediterranean.

"The visit will last until December 22," Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo said.

Following the visit, the task force will pass through the Strait of Gibraltar, visit several ports in the Mediterranean, and participate in joint exercises with Russia's Black Sea Fleet.

Dygalo earlier said that Russia currently has three naval task groups on tours of duty in the world's oceans.

Another naval task force from the Northern Fleet, led by the Pyotr Veliky nuclear-powered missile cruiser, is currently on a tour of duty in the Caribbean. The Admiral Chabanenko missile destroyer and two support ships from this task force will visit Cuba on December 19-23.

Meanwhile, a task force from Russia's Pacific Fleet, comprising the Admiral Vinogradov, an Udaloy class missile destroyer, a tugboat, and two tankers, is in the South China Sea heading to the Indian Ocean to take part in the INDRA-2009 joint naval drills with the Indian navy.

Russia announced last year that its navy had resumed and would build up a constant presence in different regions of the world's oceans.

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