Russia Denies Claims of Planning New Foreign Naval Bases

Vice Admiral Quote Not Accurate, Officials Insist

by Jason Ditz, July 27, 2012

After a flurry of speculation when Russia’s state-run RIA news agency quoted Vice Admiral Viktor Chirkov as saying the Russian Navy is looking to establish new foreign bases abroad, the Defense Ministry has come out to squash the rumors.

The Defense Ministry termed the report a “fantasy” of the author of the story at the news agency, saying that not only had Chirkov not made the statement, but that he as commander-in-chief of the navy wouldn’t be in a position to know about that in the first place.

“Issues concerning international relations are not part of the responsibilities of the commander-in-chief of the navy” the statement noted. Russia had been rumored to be interested in a new base somewhere around Somalia to facilitate their anti-piracy operations.

Though it only has two foreign bases, Russia is incredibly reliant on those bases for its navy. One of the bases is in Tartus, Syria, while the other, in Sevastopol, Ukraine, is the long-standing headquarters of their naval operations.

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