Eveline de Klerk
Walvis Bay-The Russian Federation Navy’s Northern Fleet detachment, the Severomorsk, the large anti-submarine destroyer, together with the Altay (Ingul, Project 1453, class rescue tug) and Dubna replenishment tanker made their first-ever visit to Namibia on Saturday.
Severomorsk, accompanied by a rescue tug and tanker, left their base – also known as Severomorsk – situated at the coast of the Barents Sea on November 16 to take part in counter-terrorism operations in Syria.
The anti-submarine destroyer and her two escorts thereafter participated in the international AMAN-2017 sea drills in the Arabian Sea in mid-February. Following the four-day exercise, with 37 countries taking part, they made a port call in South Africa before heading for Namibia.
The Severomorsk actively participates in combating piracy and the protection of international trade routes. The ship with 500 personnel on board was yesterday received at Walvis Bay by Russian Ambassador to Namibia Alexander Khudin and Mayor of Walvis Bay Wilfred Immanuel.
According to the fleet’s senior commander, Capt Stanislav Varik, the visit marks an important and historical milestone as Russia and Namibia share a unique historical relationship.
“Our visit to Namibia reaffirms the sound bilateral relations between Namibia and Russia, and further opens trade and exchange opportunities between the two countries,” he explained through an interpreter.
He added that they will also meet with officials from the Namibian Navy to discuss issues of cooperation, as well as to facilitate future visits between the two countries. According to Varik, the fleet after restocking and refuelling will make its way to West Africa before heading back to Russia.