MOSCOW, July 26 (RIA Novosti)
MOSCOW, July 26 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s navy chief said on Thursday that a flotilla of Russian warships off the coast of Syria would not dock at a port leased by Moscow in the violence-stricken Middle East country.
“The joint fleet flotilla will not enter the port of Tartus,” Vice Admiral Viktor Chirkov told journalists. “It is carrying out military drills in the Mediterranean.”
The flotilla is comprised of 10 warships, plus escort vessels. Chirkov also said the flotilla was carrying marines.
The navy said earlier this month that the deployment of the powerful task force was not linked to the current crisis in Syria, where thousands of people have been killed in an almost 17-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
The Western Syria port of Tartus is Russia’s only foreign naval base outside the former Soviet Union. But Russian analysts have consistently played down the port’s strategic importance, saying it is in reality little more than a refueling stop.
But Chirkov said on Thursday that Russia had no intention of giving up the base. He did not however give further details or clarify how Russia would hold onto the base in the event of a pro-Western government coming to power in Syria.
Russia – along with China – has vetoed three resolutions against the Assad regime over what it says is a pro-rebel bias. Moscow insists it has no special interest in seeing Assad remain in power, but that the “Syrian people” must decide his fate.
President Vladimir Putin vowed in a pre-election campaign article earlier this year not to allow in Syria a repeat of last year’s “Libya scenario," which saw the ouster and murder of long-time Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi after a NATO military campaign.
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- NicoSays who?13:25, 26/07/2012A bit of a strange statement to make, isn't it?
Surely this would be a decision made by the new Syrian Government, which, in all likelihood, will be comprised entirely of NATO puppets (see SNC).
Either Chirkov has information that suggests the present Syrian Government and its armed forces will prevail against the Western backed terrorists and that no such puppet Government will be established, or a deal has been struck elsewhere..
Given that the naval flotilla will not now be entering Tartus, which would have been a strong sign of support for the present Government, a deal with the opposition seems possible..
- Thoth(no title)15:33, 26/07/2012Without direct foreign military intervention, the so called rebels have little chance of wining
- lmAnother defeat in the makings for Russia on the foreign policy front.22:26, 26/07/2012As i said before Russian military personnel with high office always open there mouths meaning nothing.
Men and machines just taking a ride cannot protect their country interest..
Who knows maybe some Russian journalist, think tanks, and analyst are on the foreign pay roll… so it in there interest to say things that would favor their pay masters about Syria hoping to convince the Kremlin to give up.
- bielecThis does not mean anything...00:18, 27/07/2012...except for military tactical necessity to stay out of port. Russian ships should not become sitting ducks like the American warships in Pearl Harbor. In open sea and on the move they are safer and better positioned in case of military confrontation over Syria or Iran.
- bielecIt's not that simple...04:37, 27/07/2012There are many factors to consider. Do Russia, China, and Iran have a chance to win military confrontation with the West and their allies? Would the outcome be preferable?
If not, Russia has to do what is best for Russia. This means diplomatic efforts and a long-term political game. Already, Russia is viewed around the world as a responsible, peace keeping power balancing the warmongers and war criminals of the Western sphere and Israel. Russia is building new alliances with its future allies. Putin would probably win, if a truly free election for the President of the Earth took place today. He is a hero in the eyes of ordinary folks.
Russia knows that its image is improving and this means a lot in political terms. Russia also knows that the image of NATO and its allies is crumbling by the minute, with each irresponsible call for war, with each threat of war, with each military intervention by the West. It's the matter of time. And diplomatic skill.
In economic terms, it's the matter of time, as well. The U.S. economy is collapsing, with serious repercussions in Europe. This is exactly why NATO pushes for war. Avoiding war weakens the West. Russia and China know it. Iran knows it.
But when odds are good and when situation demands action, Russia is ready - as the 5-day war with Georgia showed. It's not the talking and yelling and screaming that counts, so don't expect it.
- mishkaWhat wonderfull dream you had.12:13, 27/07/2012It was pleasant even to read it. Putin as the ruler of the world. I certainly agree with you not only me but there would be billions of people to vote him.
But about economic persfectic of the circumstance, I dont agree with you. The west can collapse Russian economy to the zero even in one week if it wants. Unfortunatelly Russian economy dangerously depends on only oil and gas incomings. And Russian administration knows how it is dangerous. American puppet Arabic gulf monarchies may increase oil production several times more and the prices may be 20 USD. Russian economy collapeses in such a case. Even the salaries of officers can not be paid, food for the army can not be bought. Russia can not find finance to operate even one single jet fighter in it's air force. Furthermore majorty of the capital in Russian stockmarket belong to westerns and if they leave in one day thousands of Russian companies may bankrupt.
It was a great mistake by Gorbachov and Yeltsin to present Russia to capitalist bloody hands completely.
When western project "Nabucco" will be operational everything will be much more difficult for Russia. IT HAS TO REFRESH IT'S INDUSTRIAL CAPACITY AND FIND WAYS OF EXPORT SOMETHING ELSE OIL AND GAS FOR A RELIABLE INCOMING.
- living069only a refueling stop?04:44, 27/07/2012If Syria goes down you won't be able to refuel and be limited to a certain radius of operations, Syria *IS* important one way or another, and if it goes down it will show that Russia is weak and the west knows this and will continue on their merry crusade till it reaches your borders.
- lmRussia loves you West and NATO, NATO/West we do not love you please understand please!!13:03, 27/07/2012I want to disagree with biele statement and I quote "If not, Russia has to do what is best for Russia. This means diplomatic efforts and a long-term political game. Already, Russia is viewed around the world as a responsible, peace keeping power balancing the warmongers and war criminals of the Western sphere and Israel. Russia is building new alliances with its future allies. Putin would probably win, if a truly free election for the President of the Earth took place today. He is a hero in the eyes of ordinary folks. End quote.
Russia is not balancing any power or proves it can balance any power on the international arena after the fall off the Soviet Union. Which new alliances just look at the CSTO they cannot agree on anything it’s always why Russia must have this and that power? Russia will suffer an embarrassing defeat if Syria falls make no mistakes..
All Russia has done is offer talk and more talk which no one is listening in the West so what is Russia next move?
Russia should know and know well that this is all coming back to Russia thru the North Caucasus one day if they continue there diplomatic niceties when it comes to protecting an ally or its interest.
a) Bring oil prices down squeezing Russia economy.
b) Start civil unrest thru NGO’s and the oppositions due to a dwindling economy and lack of jobs.
c) CIS states start putting pressure on Russia for more money for their bases in there territory forcing Russia to close down bases outside of Russia.
d) Syria and Iran falls to the West Russia is encircled military by NATO.
e) The game has stated by buying foreign civilian planes, and military hardware so what is next when Russia plays hard ball? No spear parts it is that simple. This is why they have created their laws on noises and all kinds of restriction on Russia civilian planes there aim were simple get Russia to buy our planes instead. Kill off Russian manufacturing capabilities or degrade it to such an extent and it worked.
f) The west knows all Russia can offer is talking nothing more.
Mr. Lavrov ,maybe exerting frustration at his own government lack of forwardness and determination on brining this crisis in Syria to an end and he maybe powerless to do more that he is asked to do.
Also many in the State Duma law makers has foreign accounts aboard in Western countries and do not want to lose their investments and saving by angering the Western long hand reach, so this is just one of the reasons why maybe Russia is stalling and giving mix signals doing as if they are the criminals.
Now just look at the statement from Russian analyst who just maybe paid to make these remarks, surely it cannot be in Russia’s favour with such remarks, that the base in Syria is nothing more that a refuelling stop, of course this is a very embarrassing thing to say, or should I say it is normal for such statements to come out from people with high office as we all have read in the pass. The latest example Aircraft carriers, tomorrow we will read they are not building any then next they are!!!!!!!!!!
One should not take for granted that some of these analyst and journalist from Russia are been paid to make these statements hoping to influence to Kremlin view of Assad.
My point is that Russia invites criticism on itself by showing weakness and a lack of determination as a leader on world affairs. The praises to Russia for keeping up international law, and respecting democracy is all a game by its foes and why simple “tell them what they want to hear” in the end Russia always ends up with the short end of the stick.
But all in all Russia is a beautiful country with a rich history very rich history…what is needed is leadership to those who are been crush because they do not toe the line. Russia has to stop this from reaching its borders by getting more involve with a big stick.
- bielecThank you...22:27, 27/07/2012...for your rational replies. You might know something that I don't know. But it is unreasonable, I think, to say that Russia must depend on oil and natural gas exports, that Russia's industrial base is destroyed, etc.
Russia is a big country, rich in natural resources. Russia has good education system. Maybe Russia needs more research facilities and advanced technology programs but that should not be difficult to establish.
Rebuilding the industrial base should not be impossible. If Russia is too dependent of Western investors and Western banks, why this situation is allowed to continue, why is Medvedev pushing for more privatisation, why is Putin talking about increasing foreign investments?
Russia has the potential. All it needs is the will to utilize it. And a realistic ideology that would make people accept sacrifices and give up corruption for the sake of future gains, for the sake of their country.
I believe that Putin could address these issues to the nation in an open and honest way. I believe that most people would understand.
Scores of Russian ancestors fought and died to defend Russia. Maybe it's time for this generation to take on this task and accept some sacrifices for the security and prosperity of their homeland?
John F. Kennedy once said, "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." Let's start there.
BTW, I don't understand why the State Duma law makers have foreign accounts aboard in Western countries. Why don't they keep their money in Russian banks? If they don't support Russia's growth, if they help the profits and economy of the enemy, then perhaps they should lose their money? What's the problem? And if they hide their money, it means that they had made it illegally, by stealing or by corruption.
Any response would likely boomerang on Russia – the partnership between Rosneft and ExxonMobil is a case in point. The United States has hit Russia with a third round of sanctions. This time the Americans went with a higher caliber weapon, targeting Russia’s biggest energy companies (Rosneft and Novatek) and banks (VEB and Gazprombank).