WASHINGTON (Jul. 10)
Admiral Igor Molotsov, Commander of the Soviet Naval Flotilla that has arrived in Port Said and Alexandria, served notice today that his ships were “fully prepared to cooperate with the United Arab Republic armed forces in repelling any aggression.”
This was the first known statement by a responsible Soviet authority threatening military measures in the current crisis.
Authorities said the Soviet naval units at Alexandria and Port Said comprised the biggest force of Communist power ever to visit Egypt. The Russian units include two missile cruisers, other warships, and at least two submarines. The Soviet admiral said his vessels were shadowed by the U.S. Sixth Fleet and were observing the movements of the Americans.
The Soviet presence in Port Said, only a few miles from where Israeli planes bombed hostile Egyptian artillery on Saturday was seen here as a Soviet show of solidarity with Egypt.
Naval sources said a Soviet missile cruiser and another cruiser of conventional design were docked at Port Said which is on the northern end of the Suez Canal. Admiral Molotsov said the visit was being made at the invitation of the Egyptian Government.
The Soviet display of naval strength coincided with the opening in Cairo of an Arab summit conference on Israel. King Hussein of Jordan has arrived for the talks and the Presidents of Syria and Iraq are expected shortly. President Nasser went into discussions today with King Hussein and President Boumedienne of Algeria.