MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Russian Defence Ministry said on Wednesday NATO submarines had been tracking its battle group in the Mediterranean and that it had chased away a Dutch submarine which had been dangerously maneuvering nearby, the Interfax news agency reported.

Moscow has assembled a sizeable battle group in the Mediterranean, including its only aircraft carrier, to support its air campaign in Syria where it is helping President Bashar al-Assad try to defeat rebels.

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Andrew Osborn)