Sat, December 20, 2008
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Russian naval vessels visit Cuba

2008-12-20 03:23:54 GMT2008-12-20 11:23:54 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Russian destroyer Admiral Chabanenko sails into Havana's bay on December 19, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)

Russian destroyer Admiral Chabanenko sails into Havana's bay on December 19, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)

Russian destroyer Admiral Chabanenko sails into Havana's bay on December 19, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)

Russian destroyer Admiral Chabanenko sails into Havana's bay on December 19, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)

Russian destroyer Admiral Chabanenko sails into Havana's bay on December 19, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)

HAVANA, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- Vessels from the Northern Fleet of the Russian Navy arrived in Cuba's Havana Bay on Friday for a visit.

The visiting fleet, composed of anti-submarine vessel "Admiral Chabanenko" with 451 crew members and a rescuing tugboat with 78 crew members, will remain moored in Havana Bay till Dec. 23.

The Russian vessels were welcomed with a 21-gun salute, shot from ships in the bay and the old Spanish fort of San Carlos de la Cabana. The national anthems of Cuba and Russia were played as well.

Many Cubans gathered at Havana Jetty to welcome the Russian fleet.

Russian officers of the fleet were welcomed by Russian Ambassador to Cuba Mikhail Kamynin and Vice Admiral Pedro Perez Betancourt, chief of the Revolutionary Navy of Cuba.

The vessels' commander, Vice Admiral Vladimir Koraliov, said this was not a courtesy visit, but a gesture of friendship and respect for the Cuban people, adding that their aim was to strength ties between the two navies.

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