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Russia sends warships to the Mediterranean
by The Extinction Protocol
July 10, 2012 RUSSIA For the last year, the Russian government has tried to project an image of neutrality in the increasingly bloody conflict in Syria. Now, it may be sending a signal of support to its longtime ally, President Bashar al-Assad, by sending warships to the area. Russia may also want to protect its forces at its Tartus naval base. A flotilla of Russian Navy ships set sail Tuesday for the Mediterranean, where Russia maintains a small base at Tartus, Syria. A destroyer and three landing ships left the Arctic port of Severomorsk. A second destroyer left Russias base at Sevastopol, Ukraine. And Interfax reported that more warships from the Baltic Fleet, based in St. Petersburg, are preparing to join the flotilla. The warships set sail the day after Russias President Vladimir Putin accused the West of missile bomb democracy. In a key policy speech to top Russian diplomats gathered in Moscow, he accused the West of using deception to gain political advantage. This can be seen from the so-called humanitarian operations, from exports of the missile-bomb democracy, and intervention in internal conflicts, including those bred by the Arab spring, said the president. Putins hardline rhetoric came as Syrian opposition groups have come to Moscow to lobby the Kremlin to stop supporting Syria's President Assad. While briefing reporters, Basma Kodmani, a member of the executive bureau of the Syrian National Council, appealed to Russia to help Syrians turn the page and switch to a new democratic system. The Kremlin and Syrias opposition share common ground - a fear of chaos, anarchy and religious radicalism, she said. -VOA
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