Russia's navy chief on Friday called for restoring the country's permanent presence in the Mediterranean Sea, news agency reports said.
"The Mediterranean is a strategically important zone for Russia's Black Sea Fleet," Admiral Vladimir Masorin said while visiting the fleet's base in the Ukrainian city of Sevastopol, RIA-Novosti and Interfax-AVN reported.
"The objective is the permanent presence of the Russian navy in the Mediterranean," Masorin said.
Soviet navy ships used to be based at Syria's Mediterranean port of Tartus, and Russia still maintains a technical base there to serve its military vessels that regularly go into the Mediterranean.
Independent military analyst Alexander Golts said that from a military point of view it did not make "any sense" for Russia to be present in the Mediterranean.
Commentators have suggested in the past that Russia might seek to relocate part of its Black Sea Fleet to the Mediterranean if it fails to get an extension of its agreement with Western-leaning Ukraine on leasing the Sevastopol port when it expires in 2017.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, as well as the military of the two countries, will never let a military confrontation spark, but...
An attack is under way against the truth-seeking social media practising data democracy. What is unacceptable is that the liars accuse the truthseekers of lying
On April 20, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed that Russia could supply air defense systems to Syria