Russian warships permanently on duty in Mediterranean: Putin

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Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that warships armed with Kalibr cruise missiles will be permanently on duty in the Mediterranean due to persistent terrorist threats from Syria.
“A total of 102 voyages by surface ships and submarines are scheduled for this year. As the risk of attacks by international terrorists in Syria remains, our ships armed with cruise missiles will be permanently on duty in the Mediterranean,” Putin said at a meeting with senior military officials and representatives of the defence industry.
He praised the professionalism and coordination of Russian ships and submarines during military operations in Syria, which, he said, had destroyed important facilities and infrastructure used by terrorists, Xinhua news agency reported.
Russian troops have been participating in the fight against the Islamic State and insurgent groups in Syria since September 2015 at the request of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Putin said the Russian Navy has expanded its presence in the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic and the Asia-Pacific region.
Moscow will strengthen the naval component of its strategic nuclear forces and increase the role of the Navy in ensuring nuclear deterrence, he said, adding that the country will continue to equip the Navy with the latest weapons, means of communications, reconnaissance and target indication systems.