US Coast Guard Delegation Completes
Visit to Kamchatka Peninsula

PETROPAVLOVSK KAMCHATSKY (RIA Novosti, by Oksana Guseva) — A US Coast Guard delegation has completed an official visit to Kamchatka peninsula, Russian Far East, which resulted in signing an agreement on further cooperation and approving a plan of joint actions and patrolling in 2005.

A Russian FSB Coast Guard North Eastern department official told RIA Novosti that the main part of the delegation led by US Coast Guard 17th District Commander, Rear Admiral James Olson had left the peninsula on board a C-130 Hercules military aircraft.

The sides discussed joint activities, including a meeting in Washington on a bilateral draft agreement on cooperation in observing fishery-regulating laws in the Bering Sea. They said the joint efforts contributed to ensuring the two countries’ national security.

The border guards started cooperating in 1995, after the two countries’ relevant coast guard services had signed a memorandum of understanding and launched joint patrolling in the Pacific Ocean’s northwestern part.

The border guards hold joint exercises, share service experience and exchange information on fisheries and violator vessels.

A total of 35 events to stop illegal sea fishery and 15 search and rescue operations have been held since.

Russia, US Conduct Joint Exercise

PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, APRIL 27, (RIA Novosti’s Oksana Guseva) — A joint exercise involving Russian and US coast-guard ships began near the Kamchatka Peninsula.

Talking to RIA Novosti, Andrei Orloff, press-service chief of the north-east border-control department of the Russian Federal Security Service’s coast-guard division, noted that the ships were exercising in Avacha bay. Their crews will practice mutual orientation, maintaining multi-band communications.

The exercise is to end April 28, with the ships then sailing into Avacha harbor.

A delegation of the seventeenth US Coast Guard district is now visiting the Kamchatka region. Meanwhile the exercise was organized within this visit’s framework. The sides are to sum up the results of their joint operations, discussing and signing cooperation documents with the north-east border-control department of the Russian FSB’s coast-guard division. US guests will also visit the Kamchatka communications-and-monitoring center, acquainting themselves with Russian border guards’ weaponry.

In 1996 both countries signed an agreement on jointly protecting biological resources inside the convention district.

Right now, Russian and US border guards conduct joint and consecutive patrol missions in the Bering Sea’s convention districts, in the northern Pacific and along the demarcation line between Russian and US waters. Moreover, they hold joint exercises, exchanging experience and information about the fishing situation and violator ships.

The sides conducted 35 anti-poaching operations, as well as 15 search-and-rescue operations, on the high seas.