Russia Wants Warships Stationed Around World

Russia's military leadership has approved a plan by the Navy to station warships permanently in friendly ports across the globe.

"The General Staff has given its position on this issue, and it fully supports the position of the [Navy's] main committee," deputy head of the General Staff Anatoly Nogovitsyn told RIA-Novosti.

In September, Izvestia reported that a Navy squadron was to make a stopover in the Syrian port of Tartus on its way to Venezuela. Russian officials said the Soviet-era base there was being renovated to serve as a foothold for a permanent Navy presence in the Mediterranean.Last month a Russian warship cruised off Cuba after visiting South America for the first time since 1991.

Nogovitsyn said Russia was directly negotiating with foreign governments to station warships at bases around the world permanently. He declined to give exact details. "Nobody can predict where problems could flare up," he said. "What we need are permanent bases, but these are very costly. They need to be considered very carefully."

The Navy was already in negotiations to build a permanent Black Sea port in the Russia-backed breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia.

(Reuters, AP)