2005 will see the launch of construction of the Russian Black Sea Fleet's additional naval base in Novorossiisk, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov told journalists at a Saturday briefing in the Ministry's Headquarters.
"Announcing this plan, I would like to clarify one very important and, in my opinion, fundamental thing. Our decision to set up a new naval base does not in any way mean that we are going to relocate the Black Sea Fleet's main base of deployment in Sevastopol (Crimea, Ukraine) to Novorossiisk," the Russian Defense Minister emphasized.
Sergei Ivanov explained that "the new base will host the warships relocated after 1991 to positions off the coasts of the Krasnodar Territory, with some of them, to our great regret, still tied up to rocks." "At present, Russia has the potential and finance to establish a full-capacity naval base in Novorossiisk," said Sergei Ivanov. He pointed out that the project envisages deployment at the base of not only warships but also marines and naval aviation. Moreover, the new base will feature advanced infrastructure to meet contemporary naval requirements.
According to the Minister, the above were the main items on the agenda of a recent meeting chaired by President Vladimir Putin and held in the town of Yeisk (a port in the Sea of Azov).
Sergei Ivanov stressed the importance of creating "a proper military infrastructure in this region whose protection is vital to the security of the entire Russian Federation, as it borders on the world's most explosive areas."
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