Story by TASS Russian news agency
The Vice Admiral Kulakov big antisubmarine ship of the Northern fleet began a long sortie after participating in the Navy parade in the Gulf of Finland and drills with Baltic fleet warships, the Defense Ministry said.
“The ship is in the Bay of Biscay. The main mission is to demonstrate St. Andrew’s flag and ensure Russian naval presence in the region,”
The ship will call at several Mediterranean seaports and hold a number of drills to search for foreign submarines. The sortie will last several months.
In 2018, the Vice Admiral Kulakov for the first time sailed the Northern Sea Route from Severomorsk in the Kola Peninsula to Egvekinot in Chukotka and back via Bering Strait to and the Arctic seas.
Update / Naval News comment:
The ASW Destroyer will actually “show the flag in the Mediterranean sea” (training missions, harbours visits, and so on) and not in the Bay of Biscay. Official Russian MoD statement:
“На днях североморцы войдут в Средиземное море, где будут выполнять основные задачи дальнего похода: демонстрировать Андреевский флаг и обеспечивать военно-морское присутствие России в регионе.”
“One of these days, the Severomors will enter the Mediterranean Sea, where they will carry out the main tasks of a long-distance campaign: to demonstrate the St. Andrew’s flag and to ensure Russia’s naval presence in the region.”