Russia is eyeing to upgrade its existing naval facility in Syrian city of Tartus into a permanent naval base.
Military experts believe that the Russian Defense Ministry may set up a detachment of ships in the Mediterranean armed with Kalibr-NK cruise missiles and headed by the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, RBTH reported Tuesday.
A permanent Russian naval base will be set up in the Syrian city of Tartus, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov announced on Oct. 10.
The Defense Ministry has already prepared the relevant documents and will soon submit them to parliament for ratification, he said.
In fact, Russia has had a naval facility in Tartus since the mid-1980s. The base miraculously managed to survive after the breakup of the Soviet Union.
“At the time, defense ministers were busy winding down the Russian presence abroad. Over the past 25 years, we have lost bases in Qatar and Yemen, whereas Tartus has miraculously survived,” retired colonel-general Leonid Ivashov, head of the International Center of Geopolitical Analysis, a Moscow-based think tank, told RBTH.
He added that at the moment, the Russian naval facility in Syria consists of a floating workshop, which can provide only basic maintenance and repairs to ships.
“It houses very basic facilities for ships passing through the Mediterranean. In Tartus, crews can replenish their food and ammunition supplies as well as carry out basic repairs of their ships,” he said.