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Putin Marks Navy Day At Base For Nuclear Submarines

Russian President Vladimir Putin (file photo)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (file photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has marked the country's "Navy Day" by visiting the northern port of Severomorsk, home to Russia's Northern Fleet.

Putin laid a wreath at the monument to the "Heroes of the Defense of Zapolarya in the Great Patriotic War" (World War II) on July 27 and then he and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu watched from a naval battle cruiser as warships and submarines sailed by the port to mark the occasion.

Putin then flew to the "Admiral Kuznetsov," a Soviet-era aircraft carrier, also Russia's only aircraft carrier, and delivered a speech that noted one of Russia's priorities was strengthening the Black Sea Fleet.

Russia's ITAR-TASS news agency reported the "Admiral Kuznetsov" will undergo repair and modernization during the next three to four years.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin was in Severodvinsk, in the Archangelsk region, home to the Sevmash shipyard, to mark the day and watch a ceremony starting construction of another of Russia's new-generation nuclear missile submarines, the Borei-class "Knyaz Oleg" (Prince Oleg), and also two Yasen-class submarines, the "Krasnoyarsk" and "Khabarovsk."

The "Knyaz Oleg" will join the "Knyaz Vladimir," which is currently under construction, and two other Borei-class 955A submarines already handed over to the navy, the "Yury Dolgoruky" and "Aleksandr Nevsky." The navy is also due to receive the" Vladimir Monomakh" submarine later this year.

Russia plans to build eight Borei-class submarines, each armed with 16 Bulava intercontinental ballistic missiles and six SS-N-15 cruise missiles. The Russian Navy should have seven Yasen-class submarines by 2020 but plans call for 16 of the vessels to eventually be put into service.

Yasen-class vessels are attack submarines armed with cruise missiles and an array of antiship/antisubmarine missiles and torpedoes.

Rogozin said in his speech the Borei-class strategic nuclear submarines and Yasen-class multipurpose submarines being built at Severodvinsk would create a reliable nuclear shield against any threat.

"We see the presence of a nuclear potential can cool the fervor of any aggressor located at any point in the world," he said.

Putin joined the officials in Severodvinsk via videolink from Severomorsk to discuss the progress at the Sevmash shipyard.

There was also a large ceremony marking Navy Day at Russia's Black Sea naval base in Sevastopol.

Meanwhile, ITAR-TASS reported the French Mistral-class helicopter-carrier Russia is purchasing will take up duty in the Pacific Ocean after it joins the Russian Navy.

There have been calls in Europe for France to cancel sale of the vessel, and another such carrier Russia has contracted to buy.

Some European officials have expressed concerns about selling Russia sophisticated military equipment at a time when the European Union and others is imposing sanctions on Russian businesses and individuals for the Kremlin's actions in Ukraine.

With reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax
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