The Russian Navy will maintain a permanent presence in the Mediterranean, Russian Defense Minister General of the Army Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday.

"The operative command in the Mediterranean was formed in June for the protection of Russia's national interests. A unit of the Navy is constantly present there now," he said at a meeting of the Russian Defense Ministry Board on Tuesday.

Forces deployed in the Far East are being strengthened, Shoigu said.

"The 68th army corps has been formed in the Sakhalin theater of operations," he said.

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