U.S. Coast Guard delegation visiting Russian Far East

A U.S. Coast Guard delegation arrived on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia's Far East Tuesday for four days of discussions on deepening cooperation in protecting biological resources and marine safety.

A Coast Guard ship, the Mellon, was to take part in joint exercises with Russian vessels during the visit of the U.S. delegation from the 17th district, headed by Rear-Admiral James Olson. Coast guard members from the two nations were also to play a friendly volleyball match.

The Russian delegation was to be headed by Lieut.-Gen. Valery Putov, the head of the northeastern regional Coast Guard of the Federal Security Service. He said such visits "help us to increase our professional preparedness and, at the same time, show that we are united in questions of protecting bioresources."

The two coast guards have been cooperating in the Far East since 1996, conducting 35 joint anti-poaching missions and 15 search-and-rescue operations, the Russian Coast Guard press service said.

Associated Press

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