Construction of first-order objects of Novorossiysk Naval Base will finish by the end of 2013, reports Izvestiya referring to Russian defense ministry.
According to the newspaper, "those objects are meant for large-size warships having deep draft. That will make possible to start redeployment of Black Sea Fleet from Crimea to Novorossiysk. The fleet's flagship, Guards missile cruiser Moskva will arrive in the new base first".
According to the source in Russian Navy Main HQ, "now they're dipping seabed to accommodate larger ships, lengthening quayside, constructing windbreak and a breakwater. To operate normally, the base needs underground storages for armaments, materials and fuel, covered underground communication centers and command posts".
The source stressed that "we're tight down by the Black Sea Fleet Treaty signed in 1992. Its annex specifies hull numbers and types of ships allowed to be stationed in Sevastopol, Ukraine. It is problematic to transfer a new ship there. Ukrainian party hinders new amendments to the treaty. The agreement also prohibits rearming and upgrading of ships currently stationed in Sevastopol".
At the same time, "some Black Sea Fleet officers say Sevastopol should remain the fleet's main naval base", reports Izvestiya.
In particular, ex-commander of Black Sea Fleet considers that shape and geographic position of Novorossiysk would unlikely allow it to become the fleet's main naval base", writes Izvestiya.