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Ochamchira is going to secure Sochi and the near-by region2009-06-26 14:02
The Russian party started building a naval base for the Black Sea fleet ships in Ochamchira. The necessary works are supposed to last for two or three years. This was reported on June, 25 by Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Naval Forces Vladimir Vysotski.
"We are going to locate separate tactic groups there, - Vysotski is quoting ITAR-TASS. - Now the issue is being developed. The naval base in Ochamchira will be used considering the threat of subversive and terroristic actions on the part of the Georgian special services, for we cannot exclude such possibility".
The information about Russia's intention to build a naval base in Abkhazia trickled into the media in January. An undisclosed source in the Naval Forces General Headquarters reported then that the base would carry out a preventive function and will be equipped with all types of surface, underwater, air and land protection. President of Abkhazia confirmed this information, saying, however, that no documents had been signed by the moment. The Abkhazian leader also underlined that it is "the threat of subversive actions on the part of Georgia" that is pushing Moscow and Sukhum towards settling this question.
It looks like all the formalities related to the location of the Russian ships in the young republic have been settled during this period. Now, according to the Naval Forces General Headquarters, after bottom dredging, the port of Ochamchira will be able to receive large and small assault ships, as well as motor boats and mine sweepers of the Black Sea fleet. "We are not facing the task of making it possible for any classes of ships, including cruisers, to wharf at Ochamchira, or for many ships to simultaneously wharf at the port, - ITAR-TASS is quoting an undisclosed source. - On the contrary, considering the probability of a terrorist attack on the part of Georgia while the naval base is operating, the less of our ships are there, the better. That is why, only a small number of ships will be based there; the rest will be anchored at the port anchorage". According to the agency's interlocutor, the construction of quays will be followed by the construction of the coast infrastructure for ships repair and technical maintenance, ship watering, filling up with provisions and ammunition.
However, this task has been mostly solved for Russia already: until September 1996, the Red Banner Border Troops Naval brigade of KGB of the USSR had been based in Ochamchira, which was later re-dislocated to Kaspijsk. Thus, the naval base rather needs reconstruction than the greed field construction. Nevertheless, it is the dredge works that will define the class of ships to be anchored in Abkhazia.