MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The future Russian naval base in Syria's Tartus will be able to host aircraft carriers and nuclear-powered submarines allowing Moscow to expand its naval presence and role in the Mediterranean, a senior lawmaker in Russia's upper house of parliament said.
The Russian Defense Ministry revealed plans in October to establish a permanent naval base in the western Syrian port city of Tartus where it has been keeping a small naval maintenance and support facility since 1977.
"Even today, the facility in Tartus can host warships and civilian vessels, as well as some types of submarines. After the upgrade of its infrastructure, Tartus will be able to host top-tier vessels," Viktor Ozerov, chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security, said in an interview with RIA Novosti.
Top-tier vessels include aircraft carriers and nuclear-powered submarines.
"We believe that for top-tier vessels, such as the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, all necessary conditions will be created in Tartus," Ozerov said.
According to the lawmaker, the overhauled base in Tartus will allow Moscow to enlarge its naval task force in the Mediterranean in order to expand Russia's presence and mission spectrum in that strategically important region.
"The base will be used not only to fight terrorism but also to support a variety of security missions, ranging from minesweeping to the fight against sea piracy," Ozerov stressed.