Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that Russia continues to strengthen its naval power, with 30 new vessels joining its fleet this year.
Putin made the announcement on Sunday at the Main Navy Day parade in St. Petersburg, where he reviewed a display of warships and nuclear submarines in his native city.
"Today Russia confidently implements its large-scale objectives of the national maritime policy and persistently builds up the might of its Navy. This year alone, 30 warships of various classes will join it," the Russian president said.
Putin, accompanied by Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov, the head of the Navy, inspected the ships from a launch boat on the Neva before making a speech.
Navy Day is celebrated every year on the last Sunday of July in Russia. This year, 45 ships, submarines and other vessels, as well as about 3,000 navy personnel, took part in the Main Naval Parade on the Neva River and in the Kronshtadt roadstead.
Other naval parades were also held at the main bases of the Baltic, Northern, and Pacific Fleets and the Caspian Flotilla, as well as in Novorossiysk on the Black Sea and in the Syrian port of Tartus on the Mediterranean Sea.
Some of the vessels that participated in the parade included the Neustrashimy frigate sailed along the Neva River, while other vessels like the Zeleny Dol corvette, the Velikie Luki submarine, and the Yunarmeets Dagestana anti-sabotage boat.
The Iranian Navy deployed three vessels to Russia to join the naval parade north of the Caspian Sea and the commander of Iran’s navy Rear Admiral Shahram Irani also participated in the ceremony.
Several African leaders and representatives also attended the Main Naval Parade, after being invited by Putin following a Russia-Africa summit that ended on Friday in St. Petersburg.
Russia has been modernizing its navy in recent years, investing in new submarines, frigates, corvettes and missile systems. It has also increased its naval presence in the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and the Arctic regions.