"A total of 26 combat vessels, including two submarines, as well as 34 aircraft will take part in the training exercises. The Northern Fleet's [Slava-class] Marshal Ustinov missile cruiser will lead the naval task force participating in the drills," Korolev said at a briefing.
Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief Adm. Vladimir Korolev also warned that the area of the naval drills in the Mediterranean has been declared temporarily dangerous for regular navigation and air traffic.
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"In order to strictly observe the norms of international law, as well as to ensure the safety of navigation and aircraft flights, the training areas have in advance been declared temporarily dangerous for navigation and air traffic," Korolev said at a briefing.
The Russian naval chief stressed that after the completion of the exercises the participating forces will return to their home bases.
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The US Defense Department told Sputnik earlier on Thursday that it was aware of reports of a huge military exercise planned by Russia in the Mediterranean Sea this week, and hoped it would follow the rules of safe conduct.
Pahon emphasized that the US Navy had a routine presence in the area and elsewhere in the world, "and just like any other country, we operate freely in international waters," he said.