Andrei Kalachinsky Novye Izvestia, April 19, 2001, p. 3

Admiral Kuroedov and the leadership of the Pacific Fleet will discuss submarine reconnaissance in coastal areas and the competence of the junior staff of Russian forces

Admiral Vladimir Kuroedov, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, has departed for Tokyo. This is the first official visit by the commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy to Japan during the whole history of the Russian Federation and the former USSR. It is supposed that he will hold negotiations with the Chief of Japanese National Defense and the Chief of Staff of the Japanese Naval Defense Department. According to an official press release by the Russian Navy, the visit is aimed at broadening dialogue between the Russian and Japanese Navies. Cooperation between Russia and Japan is necessary to improve stability in the Asian-Pacific region.

Novye Izvestia’s correspondent has managed to uncover some of what will be discussed. According to a well-informed source Admiral Kuroedov intends to propose that all countries with submarine forces cancel underwater reconnaissance operations near the coast.

This proposal was announced after the Kursk catastrophe in the Barents Sea in August 2000. According to one theory, the Kursk sank after a collision with a UK or a US submarine, which was observing exercises performed by the Northern Fleet. It is supposed that Kuroedov’s initiative will be supported by Japan, since a Japanese fishing boat sank in the Pacific Ocean after a collision with an American submarine.

Before the break-up of the USSR, Soviet submarines gathered vital reconnaissance information. In addition they photographed military bases on the Japanese coast. On the other hand, US submarines patrolled the district near Vladivostok. It is also worth noting that submarines were responsible for transporting armed reconnaissance groups to the Korean peninsula, which subsequently resulted in many armed conflicts.

The staff of the Russian Pacific Fleet noted that the leadership of the Pacific Fleet has not left for Japan together with Admiral Kuroedov. However, officers of the Pacific Fleet will meet the commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy after his return from Japan. According to an officer of the Pacific Fleet, it is planned to discuss the experience of the February mission of two Russian anti-submarine ships to India. According to well-informed sources, this mission has shown that the junior personnel of the Russian forces are not competent and civilian specialists were actually sent to salvage the situation.