Russian missile destroyer crosses Bosphorus en route to Mediterranean
A Russian warship crossed the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul en route to the eastern Mediterranean near the Syrian coast earlier Friday morning in response to military tensions and build up of Western naval forces, local media Hurriyet Daily News reported on its website.
Smetlivy, a Kashin-class guided missile destroyer, is the fourth Russian warship traversed the Bosphorus, said the report.
Three other Russian warships passed through the Bosphorus on Sept. 5. The SSV-201 intelligence ship Priazovye, accompanied by the two landing ships Minsk and Novocherkassk, passed through the Bosphorus, it added.
The Russian Navy intends to build its presence in the Mediterranean Sea - particularly in the area close to Syrian shores - to up to 10 battleships, announced Admiral of the Fleet Viktor Chirkov.
"Russia will be building up its Mediterranean fleet until it is deemed sufficient to perform the task set," Chirkov was quoted by Russian TV as saying on Friday.
Russia began military build-up in the Mediterranean in 2012, and starting from December last year the Navy established a constant presence in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea.