Priazovye sails from Black Sea naval base as Vladmir Putin says deployment necessary to protect Russian security interest
Russia is sending a reconnaissance ship to the eastern Mediterranean as the US prepares for a possible military strike in Syria, it was reported on Monday.
The Priazovye left Russia’s naval base in the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Sevastopol late on Sunday on a mission “to gather current information in the area of the escalating conflict”, said an unidentified military source quoted by the Interfax news agency. The defence ministry declined to comment.
Russia is one of Assad’s biggest arms suppliers and has a naval maintenance facility in the Syrian port of Tartous. Moscow opposes any military intervention in Syria and has shielded Damascus from pressure at the UN security council.
Interfax said the Priazovye would be operating separately from a navy unit permanently stationed in the Mediterranean in a deployment that the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, said is needed to protect national security interests.
Full article: Russia sends spy ship as US prepares for possible Syria strike (The Guardian)