“A tactical group of Black Sea Fleet warships headed by the cruiser Moskva will undertake exercises in the eastern sector of the Mediterranean Sea,” the Ministry said.
“The tanker Ivan Bubnov has fuelled the ships and emergency drills have been carried out. On January 10 the tanker filled its fuel and water tanks and food stores at the Cyprus port of Larnaka.”
A Baltic Fleet group consisting of the patrol vessel Yaroslav Mudry and tanker Lena will dock at Valetta on Malta for storing and to allow the crew to rest, the Ministry said.
The ships will then head for the eastern Mediterranean, where the two ships will practice stores transfer at sea in day and night and the Yaroslav Mudry will carry out anti-submarine warfare drills.
Meanwhile the Navy's large frigate Severomorsk will visit the Greek port of Suda during an anti-piracy mission to the Gulf of Aden from January 14-18.
“Russian Naval Infantry soldiers will visit a NATO training center to get additional training” during the visit, the Ministry said.
The Russian Navy maintains a small base at Tartus on Syria's Mediterranean coast.
The Defense Ministry’s press office reported last Wednesday that Russia will hold large-scale naval drills in the Mediterranean and Black Seas in late January with the involvement of warships from the Northern, Baltic, Black Sea and Pacific Fleets.
“The Russian Navy’s drills of this scope will be held for the first time over the past few decades and are designed to improve control, ensure and practice multiservice force interaction of the fleets in the far-off maritime zones,” the press office said.
The drills will be held in line with the Russian Armed Forces’ 2013 combat training plan and will aim to “practice the issues of establishing a multiservice grouping of forces (troops) outside Russia, planning its use and conducting joint actions as part of a united naval grouping based on a common plan,” the press office said.
The drills will also simulate operations to load marine troops and paratroopers from the rough coast of the North Caucasus onto amphibious ships and will help the Navy’s personnel acquire necessary marine practice skills during the performance of “combat training missions in the Black and Mediterranean Seas,” the press office said.