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Russian warships cross Strait of Gibraltar to Mediterranean

MOSCOW, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- Two groups of warships from Russia' s Northern Fleet have entered the Strait of Gibraltar heading to the Mediterranean Sea, the fleet said Wednesday.

"The first group consists of aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and big antisubmarine ship Admiral Levchenko. The second group comprising big landing ship Olenegorsky Gornyak and several auxiliary vessels follows them later," the Interfax news agency quoted the fleet's spokesman Vadim Serga as saying.

The ships will be deployed in the western part of the Mediterranean, where they are to conduct drills. Admiral Kuznetsov is Russia's only aircraft carrier.

The warships started their 5600-km long sail on Dec. 17.

Russia consistently beefs up its presence in Mediterranean in recent months. In November, Russian Pacific Fleet's missile cruiser Varyag called at the Egyptian port of Alexandria for the first time in over 20 years.

Besides, Russian warships, including Peter the Great heavy missile cruiser, have been taking an active part in removing chemical weapons from Syria.

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