Moscow, Russia. In discrete, muted tones, Russia has sent another guided missile cruiser into the Mediterranean Sea, presumably headed for duty off Syria as the crisis continues, albeit at lower tones given the nuclear confrontation between the US and North Korea.

Russia’s Navy quietly announced the Black Sea Fleet’s advanced frigate Admiral Essen has joined the Russian Navy’s permanent task force in the Mediterranean Sea, Fleet spokesman Vyacheslav Trukhachyov said on Friday.

The Ministry of Defense announced in a statement that the frigate, which has been at the navy’s disposal for less than a year, will join Russia’s Mediterranean naval forces while on its way from its previous area of deployment, the Baltic Sea, to its home port in the Black Sea.

“The Black Sea Fleet’s advanced frigate Admiral Essen, which is making an inter-fleet passage from the Baltic to the Black Sea Fleet, has today passed the Gibraltar Strait and arrived in the Mediterranean Sea. The warship has joined the Navy’s permanent task force in distant waters,” Trukhachyov said.

The Admiral Essen frigate now joins the ranks of its sister vessel Admiral Grigorovich and others in the Mediterranean Sea. The vessel crossed into the sea from the Gibraltar strait on Friday, Vyacheslav Trukhachev, spokesman for the Russsian fleet confirmed to state news agency Itar-Tass.

Russia has no Mediterranean fleet and during the civil war in its ally Syria, has periodically sent ships from either its Black Sea or Baltic Sea bases in the waters nearby. Russian President Vladimir Putin oversaw the formation of such a unit of up to 10 ships in 2013 that has relied on rotational deployments, supported by Russia’s Syrian port in Tartus.

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