Up to eight ships of NATO’s member-countries were accompanying the Russian naval group on its way to the Mediterranean, but not violations of international laws of the sea occurred in the process, the Russian Navy’s Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Vladimir Korolyov, said on Monday.
“This is the first time that we use our naval aircraft in combat conditions since the moment the heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser was built. Naturally, this draws attention, first and foremost from the NATO countries. Up to eight ships were accompanying us when we reached the area of Britain. But there were no violations of international laws of the sea,” Korolyov said told the Rossiya-24 television news channel.
A task force of the Northern Fleet left on a mission for the northeastern part of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean on October 15. The group consists of Russia’s only aircraft carrier The Admiral Kuznetsov, heavy guided missile cruiser The Pyotr Veliky, two anti-submarine ships – The Severomorsk and The Vice-Admiral Kulakov – and logistics ships. On November 15 Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin strikes had been delivered against terrorists against Syria’s Idlib and Homs provinces.
Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry said that a Dutch submarine on November 9 tried to approach and spy on the Russian naval force in the Mediterranean. Anti-submarine ships forced it to leave the area.