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Russia to hold war games in Indian Ocean

MOSCOW, November 1 – The Russian navy will hold war games in the Indian Ocean in a bid to boost its global presence, a navy spokesman said Saturday, announcing Moscow’s latest move to flex its military muscle.

"Ships from the Pacific Ocean Fleet and forces from the Northern Fleet will meet and carry out joint military exercises in the Indian Ocean basin," navy spokesman Igor Dygalo said in a statement.

Dygalo did not specify when the exercises would take place, but he said warships from Russia’s Vladivostok-based Pacific Ocean Fleet would leave "shortly" for the Arabian Sea, docking in various ports on the way.

He called the Indian Ocean manoeuvres part of an effort to raise the Russian navy’s worldwide profile before the end of the year.

"In the remaining months of 2008, Russian Navy Central Command will increase the presence of Russian Navy forces in the world ocean in the interests of strengthening stability and security in its various regions," he said.

This month, a flotilla of Russian warships from the Northern Fleet, based in the Arctic port of Severomorsk, are to hold exercises with the Venezuelan navy in the Caribbean Sea.

The flotilla, led by the massive nuclear-powered missile cruiser Peter the Great, stopped in Libya last month as part of a global show of Russian might not seen since the Cold War.


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