Russian navy to drill in Mediterranean, Black Seas

2013-01-02 15:32:28 GMT2013-01-02 23:32:28(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

MOSCOW, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- The Russian navy will drill in the Mediterranean and Black Seas late this month with participation of its main fleets, the Russian Defense Ministry reported Wednesday.

The drills, with warships from the Northern, Baltic, Black Sea and Pacific Fleets involved, were "designed to improve control, ensure and practice multi-service force interaction of the fleets in the far-off maritime zones," the ministry's press office said.

The press office also said the drills of this scope were "the first time over the past few decades."

It added that the drills were in line with the Russian Armed Forces' 2013 combat training plan, and aimed at conducting joint missions as a united naval group.

Exact drilling date range was not immediately known.

The naval task forces from the fleets are currently heading towards the designated areas of the naval exercises, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Marine troops and paratroopers from the rough coast of the North Caucasus will also be loaded onto amphibious ships, and the Navy's personnel would acquire necessary marine practice skills in the drills, the press office said.

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