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  Thursday, February 27, 2020
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Russian and Italian Navy arrived at Mar Grande in Taranto for joint training
A group of fighting and auxiliary ships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, under the flag of the Commander of the Black Sea Fleet, Admiral Vladimir Masorin, arrived on Tuesday morning at the main base of the Italian Navy, Mar Grande in Taranto, to pay an official visit. The group of the Russian ships, which will stay in Taranto till September 12, consists of the Moskva guards guided-missile cruiser, the Smetlivy large patrol craft, the Azov large landing ship and auxiliary ships: the Ivan Bubnov tanker and the SB-36 sea-going tug. After the official part of the visit, the group of Russian ships will go to Sicily where it will stay at the naval base of the town of Augusta from September 17 to 20. During its passage to Sicily from September 13 to 16, joint Russian-Italian naval exercises, Ioniex-2004, will take place. Their aim is to increase cooperation of the two countries' fleets by using common procedures in different situations. Five fighting ships and aircraft will take part in the exercises from the Italian side. A song and dance company of the Black Sea Fleet arrived in Taranto together with the group of Russian ships. The company will give concerts to the Italian servicemen and the population of Taranto, Augusta and other Italian cities. RIA Novosti organized a photo exhibition on board the Moskva cruiser, depicting the life in Russia today. The group of the fighting ships of the Black Sea Fleet left Sevastopol on August 31. On their way to Italy, the ships paid official visits to Izmir (Turkey) and the Geek port of Saloniki. The cruise will be completed with a non-official visit to Malta. At the end of September, the ships will return to the Fleet's main base of Sevastopol (Crimea).
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