Russian Defence Ministry has confirmed deploying a new frigate with long-range Kalibr cruise missiles to the Mediterranean Sea on Monday, news agency TASS reported.
In addition to its several warships to the Mediterranean deployed this summer, Kremlin had reinforced its naval forces off the Syrian coast. In May, Vladimir Putin has promised that Russian military vessels with Kalibr cruise missiles would be on permanent standby in the Mediterranean. A few months later, the long-range Kalibr missiles are in the Mediterranean to counter the terrorist threat in Syria.
“The Black Sea Navy Fleet’s frigate Admiral Makarov left [Navy base] Sevastopol and laid a course for the Black Sea straits. The vessel will be acting in the standing naval force of the Russian fleet in the Mediterranean,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in statement.
In his Monday statement, the Russian defence minister did not say whether the frigate with missiles is a part of any military operation. So far, Kremlin is just extending is naval forces in the Mediterranean. Over three years in a row, Moscow is backing President Assad’s regime. Up to date, Russia had gathered its largest naval group in the Mediterranean Sea since 2015.
Kalibr has joined other vessels such as Admiral Grigorovich, Admiral Essen and Pytlivy frigates, along with landing ship Nikolai Filchenkov and the Vishny Volochek missile corvette.