Moscow is seeking to block Islamist Turkey, which is also a NATO member. The exercises with Israel are interesting which tells us what the Kremlin is doing in the eastern Mediterranean.
Russia, Israel and Greek Cyprus seem to be in agreement on Eastern Mediterranean energy exploration. Could this be the basis of an alliance against Turkey; and to a lesser extent, give the US a cold dose of reality if there are scenes of Russian and Israeli ships in joint maneuvers?
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USS George W Bush (CVN 77) has been redeployed from its station off the Straits of Hormuz to the eastern Med.
HMCS Vancouver (FFH 331), which has been on station off Libya as part of just completed NATO Operation Unified Protector, has been retained in the Med until January 2012, ostensibly to join NATO Operation Active Endeavour, when it will be replaced by HMCS Charlottetown (FFH 339).
Thank you very much for posting this.What makes the entire scenario utterly fascinating to me is the inconceivable political realignment that has taken place as facilitated by the Russian-Israeli collaboration.
The Russian aircraft carrier Kuznetsov is still exercising in the Barents Sea. It has been conducting exercises for the past couple of weeks. The plan is to deploy the Kuznetsov and Chabanenko on a routine lengthy cruise during December.
'According to the Russian Defense Ministry Russias only aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and the destroyer Admiral Chabanenko will leave their bases in Murmansk and Severomorsk in December and sail south.'
"In Tartus now there aren't any our ships. There is only our floating workshop and storage platform. A month ago also there came the Black Sea Fleet patrol ship "Smetlivy", but she has already returned to Sevastopol."
The Smetlivy was exercising with NATO assets along with the rescue ship Epron. The Smetlivy was at the time the only Russian warship in the Mediterranean. Admiral Selivanov revealed that she has already returned to Sevastapol in the Black Sea. The whole story was bogus from the start!
The Smetlivy during her exercises with NATO assets link.
"The Ladny has left Sevastopol and headed for the Mediterranean. The ship's voyage began a day ahead of the schedule due to unfavorable weather forecasts," Capt. 1st Rank Vyacheslav Trukhachev said. The spokesman said the ship was scheduled to make calls at the ports of Cyprus, Malta, France and Spain.
The daily also said that in the spring of 2012, the group of Russian naval ships would enter the Syrian port of Tartus.
A source in the Russian Defense Ministry denied this information, saying the Russian aircraft carrier naval group led by the Admiral Kuznetsov did not plan to call at Syria during winter exercises in the Mediterranean Sea.
'Northern Fleet (NF) aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov on Dec 23 passed Gibraltar Strait and entered the Mediterranean Sea.
Other ships of the carrier strike group passed the strait few hours earlier.
In accordance with further plans, the Russian Navy's task force consisting of NF large ASW ship Admiral Chabanenko, Baltic Fleet (BF) frigate Yaroslav Mudry, and NF tanker Sergei Osipov will pay a formal visit to Spanish port Ceuta.
Aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and other supply vessels in the nearest time will head for anchorage site in western part of the Mediterranean Sea in order to replenish the carrier's supplies.
Black Sea Fleet (BSF) frigate Ladny joined the carrier group on Friday, Dec 23'
The last Morse Code transmission that I picked up was on the 26th December. Russian Navy ship RKO81 passed a weather report to Headquarters Sevastopol (Callsign RCV)
12464 RCV DE RKO81 QSA ? QTC @ 1335 RKO81 BT 731 20 26 1600 731 BT SML FOR RJD38 BT 26121 99357 70017 41698 10911 10150 40306 57001 70110 81/// 23262 01170 299// 309// 4//// 88000 80000 26017 BT AR RKO81 K
Lat and long from the last three figures of the second and third groups 99357 70017
35.7N 01.7W (Off Algerian coast)