Russian news agencies have quoted defense officials as saying a Russian Navy squadron has set off for the Mediterranean.
The officials said the squadron, including the heavy-aircraft-carrying cruiser "Admiral Kuznetsov," is to make a call at the Russian base in the Syrian port of Tartus.
The officials were quoted as saying the visit had been planned long ago and had no relation to the crisis in Syria.
Moscow has opposed Western moves for international sanctions on the Syrian government for its crackdown on antigovernment protests.
compiled from agency reports