"A task force comprising the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier and the Admiral Levchenko missile destroyer, as well as two support ships, has left the Northern Fleet's main base and set course for the Atlantic and the Mediterranean," Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo said.
According to the official, during the current tour, which will last for several months, the Russian warships will accomplish a number of assigned tasks, including joint drills with Russia's Black Sea Fleet, as well visits to several ports in the Mediterranean.
A task force from the Northern Fleet, consisting of the Admiral Kuznetsov, the Udaloy-Class destroyers Admiral Levchenko and Admiral Chabanenko, as well as auxiliary vessels, conducted from December 2007 to February 2008 a similar tour of duty in the Mediterranean and the North Atlantic.
Russia announced last year that its Navy had resumed and would build up a constant presence throughout the world's oceans.
Another naval task force from the Northern Fleet, comprising the nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Velikiy, the large ASW ship Admiral Chabanenko, and support ships, is currently on a visit to Venezuela and has recently conducted joint drills with the Venezuelan navy.
A task force from Russia's Pacific Fleet will leave its main base in Vladivostok on December 9 to take part in joint naval drills with the Indian navy in the Indian Ocean.
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For Russia, Crimea is more than just a territory. It is not for land that Russia is putting all her prestige at stake. This situation is about wounded national pride, history, identity, national phobias, a new Russian nationalism, past relations with the “West” full of real and perceived injuries, and Western hypocrisy.