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Moscow Plans To Make Syrian Facility A Permanent Naval Base

Russia's nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky is seenat Syria's Mediterranean port of Tartus in 2010.

The Russian Defense Ministry says it is working to make its Syrian naval station at the port of Tartus a permanent base.

On October 10, Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov told the Federation Council, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, that the ministry was drafting documents to make Russia's use of the Tartus station permanent.

"In Syria, we will have a permanent naval base in Tartus," he said.

Last week, Russia confirmed it had sent an S-300 antiaircraft missile system to Tartus and conducted a "planned rotation" of Moscow's naval forces in the area.

Russian forces have also established the Hmeimim air base near the Syrian coastal city of Latakia since they began a bombing campaign in Syria one year ago.

Reuters reported on October 10 that Russia has significantly built up its forces in Syria following the collapse of a cease-fire there in September.

Pankov's statement about Tartus comes amid reports that Russia is considering reestablishing bases it previously had in Vietnam and Cuba during the Soviet era.

Also on October 10, Russia's Izvestia daily reported that Moscow and Cairo are holding talks on the possible leasing by Russia of some Egyptian military facilities, including the former Soviet Air Force base in the city of Sidi Barrani.

Based on reporting by TASS, Reuters, Interfax, and Izvestia