http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/351786

Russia dispatches permanent naval unit to Mediterranean

Posted Jun 7, 2013 by Saunon Malek
In what has been the first major naval deployment since the time of the Soviet Union, Russia has sent a permanent naval unit to the Mediterranean Sea, aimed at defending the country's interests, as well as ensuring stability and peace in the region.
Russian anti-submarine warship in the Eastern Mediterranean
Russian anti-submarine warship in the Eastern Mediterranean
RIA Novosti/Vitaliy Ankov
The deployment includes sixteen warships and three ship-based helicopters, commented the Russian chief of staff on Thursday. The assignment of the warships, are part of a greater endeavor to expand Russia’s military sphere of influence; a prime objective of Putin’s administration since he assumed presidency in May of last year.
In addition to the recent dispatch, Moscow has announced plans to re-initiate submarine naval patrols, equipped with nuclear ballistic missiles, according to Press TV. The president has claimed that the deployment "is not meant as a threat to any country", and further noted that the Mediterranean is, "a strategically important region and we have tasks to carry out there to provide for the national security of the Russian Federation."
Military expansionism and operations in international territories has become a recurring objective for the Russian Federation. Over the past months, Russia has issued several warnings to nations who have sought to intervene in the current Syrian situation, and the recent deployment may serve to further convey the message.