MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin reviewed a parade of warships and nuclear submarines in his native St Petersburg on Sunday and announced that the Russian Navy would receive 30 new ships this year.
Forty-five ships, submarines and other vessels took part in Russia’s annual Navy Day event, a traditional show of military might which takes place in the Gulf of Finland and on the River Neva in St Petersburg. Around 3,000 navy personnel also took part in a parade on land, the Kremlin said.
Putin, accompanied by Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov, the head of the Navy, inspected some of the ships from a launch boat on the Neva before making a speech.
“Today, Russia is confidently implementing the large-scale tasks of our national maritime policy and is consistently building up the strength of our Navy,” said Putin. “This year alone, 30 ships of different classes are being added to the fleet,” he said.
He made no substantive comments on what Russia calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Four African heads of state attended Sunday’s event and five other African countries sent representatives, according to the Kremlin.
They were invited after a Russia-Africa summit in St Petersburg which concluded on Friday at which delegates discussed grain supplies and potential peace talks on Ukraine.
(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Andrew Osborn)