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ASTRAKHAN, October 20. /TASS/. Three Iranian naval ships will arrive at the Astrakhan port in south Russia on Wednesday morning, the press office of the Astrakhan Region governor said on Tuesday.
The Iranian ships will stay in Astrakhan until Friday evening. The ships’ visit envisages Iranian sailors’ meetings with the regional leadership and the command of the Caspian Flotilla of the Russian Navy, as well as friendly futsal and volleyball matches.
The regional authorities are also expected to organize a tour of Astrakhan for the Iranian sailors.
"Today the Iranian ships are being received at the entry to the Volga-Caspian Canal. They have already arrived and tomorrow morning they will be berthing in Astrakhan," a source in the Caspian Flotilla told TASS.
The Iranian naval ships are paying a friendly visit planned under a program of developing and strengthening international cooperation.
It was earlier reported that the Damavand frigate and the Joshan and Paykan missile-carrying boats had departed for Astrakhan from the city of Bandar-e Anzali. Iranian Squadron Commander Ahmad Reza Bakeri said in an interview with Fars news agency that the visit had been planned before.
After Astrakhan, the Iranian squadron will go to Baku on a friendly visit.
Mutual visits by Russian and Iranian ships to Caspian ports have become regular in the past two years.
Specifically, Iranian naval ships visited the Caspian Flotilla in the summer of 2013, calling at Astrakhan. The Iranian squadron comprised the missile boats Peikan and Jushan.
In the autumn of 2014, the Russian escort ship Dagestan and the small missile ship Grad Sviyazhsk paid a friendly visit to Bandar-e Anzali.