MOSCOW, August 19 (RIA Novosti) - The head of the Russian Navy has suggested making changes to the country’s naval forces to reequip personnel with modern arms in regard to events over the last few months, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Tuesday.
“Russian Navy Commander Admiral Viktor Chirkov suggested making changes to the Navy Activity Plan by 2020,” Shoigu said.
According to his assessment, these “suggestions should provide for the reequipping of personnel with modern arms and military equipment, as well as raise the operation readiness of naval forces.”
“I won’t hide the fact that this is pretty much due to the events of the last few months,” Shoigu said.
The past few months have seen the conflict in Ukraine escalate, as Kiev launched a military operation against the supporters of independence in the southeastern regions of the country who refused to acknowledge the new government that came to power following the February 22 coup. The reunification of Crimea with Russia also seems to play its part in the matter.
In late July, it was announced that the Russian Navy expected a new warship in the fall and several additional ships for its Black Sea Fleet off the Crimean coast in the next three years. Russia is expecting the Vladivostok, a Mistral class helicopter carrier, to be delivered in October. Another carrier, Sevastopol, is anticipated to arrive next year.
Russia may also open additional fleet bases in Crimea, such as Douzlav, which was previously used by the Ukrainian Navy.