Sunday, August 10, 2008

Russian Navy ships approach Georgia's sea border

RIA Novosti reports:

A group of ships from Russia's Black Sea Fleet including the flagship Moskva guided missile cruiser (click on photo for a better view) arrived on Sunday in the eastern part of the sea near the Georgian border, a high-ranking navy official said.

"The purpose of the Black Sea Fleet vessels' presence in this region is to provide aid to refugees," the source in the Russian Navy's headquarters told RIA Novosti.

The move comes on the third day of fighting between Georgian and Russian troops in Georgia's breakaway republic of South Ossetia.

The source said the Moskva, accompanied by a patrol vessel and supply ships, traveled from the Russian naval base at Sevastopol in Ukraine's Crimea. The ships will join three large landing craft that earlier arrived in the area from Sevastopol and the Russian port of Novorossiysk.

The source denied media reports saying the Russian fleet's warships were blockading the Georgian coast.

"These reports are not true. A blockade of the coastline would mean war with Georgia, and we are not in a state of war with Georgia."