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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russian warships to hold drills in Indian Ocean

RIA Novosti

01/11/2008 16:48 MOSCOW, November 1 (RIA Novosti) - Russian warships from the Pacific and Northern Fleets will conduct exercises in the Indian Ocean later this year, a Navy spokesman said on Saturday.

A group of Northern Fleet warships, led by the missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky (Peter the Great), will go to the Indian Ocean after joint drills with the Venezuelan Navy in the Caribbean.

"Pacific and Northern Fleet warships will meet up and jointly perform a series of combat training missions in the Indian Ocean," Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo said.

He added that later this month a group of Pacific Fleet warships would go the Arabian Sea, calling at a number of ports en route.

The Arabian Sea is strategically important as an intersection of major trading routes.

The region has also lately been exposed to pirate attacks against commercial and civilian vessels. Russia has vowed to protect the world's main shipping routes against piracy. A missile frigate from Russia's Baltic Fleet started on Tuesday patrolling waters in the Gulf of Aden to protect Russian ships and crews from pirate attacks.

Another Northern Fleet task force, led by the missile cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov, will conduct joint exercises with Black Sea Fleet warships in the Mediterranean in December.

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