Russian warship aids Syrian chemical weapons removal – ministry

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The heavy nuclear cruiser Pyotr Velikiy has taken part in another operation to ensure safety during transportation of Syrian chemical weapons, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

“Pyotr Velikiy, in conjunction with China’s frigate Huangshan and the Royal Danish Navy’s Esbern Snare ship, has fulfilled the task of escorting and providing safety for the Danish special transportation vessel Ark Futura carrying another batch of Syrian chemical weapons on board. The task was fulfilled successfully,” a Russian Navy spokesperson told Interfax-AVN on Friday.

This is the 13th operation of escorting the chemical weapons in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea since January 2014, the spokesperson said.

Cooperation with the Chinese, Danish, Norwegian and Syrian Navy ships during the sea transportation of the chemical weapons is coordinated by a center on board the Pyotr Velikiy, he said.

The center includes officers from the Russian Navy permanent naval force in the Mediterranean Sea, as well as command representatives from the Chinese, Norwegian and Danish warships taking part in the operation.

The naval phase of providing safe transportation of the Syrian chemical weapons is carried out in close cooperation with the international community, international forces at sea, the UN missions in Syria and Cyprus, and the mission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the defense official said.

The warships have been providing safety and escort for the vessels carrying Syrian chemical weapons since January 2014 in accordance with a decision by the Russian Supreme Commander-in-chief and instructions from the Russian Defense Minister.

The tasks have been entrusted to the warships and support vessels from the Russian permanent naval force in the Mediterranean Sea and, more specifically, its flag ship Pyotr Velikiy.

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