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thedrifter
08-06-09, 06:29 AM
Russian general confirms sub patrols near U.S.
Wire reports
Posted : Wednesday Aug 5, 2009 20:33:41 EDT

A top Russian general shrugged off two nuclear-powered Russian attack submarines that have been spotted off the U.S. East Coast, saying that they are part of regular patrols and in line with normal international practice.

Anatoly Nogovitsyn, the deputy chief of staff of Russia’s armed forces, says the patrols are not newsworthy.

Nogovitsyn said Wednesday that Russia resumed the submarine patrols after restarting strategic bomber patrol flights in 2007.

U.S. defense officials said Tuesday that the Russian submarines had been patrolling in international waters for several days. While the activity was reminiscent of the Cold War, the U.S. officials said the submarines had done nothing to provoke concern.

Nogovitsyn said the patrols were “a normal thing” and suggested the U.S. also has submarines patrolling near Russia.

The New York Times first reported that the two Russian nuclear-powered submarines had been patrolling off the east coast in recent days, the first such move in several years and causing worry among U.S. officials.

Russia regularly makes its position on international issues known through unnamed sources quoted by state media, and all three main news agencies ran nearly identical reactions to the New York Times report, quoting a military-diplomatic source.

“The Russian navy systematically pinpoints the location of NATO submarines, including U.S. Navy submarines, in direct proximity to the territorial waters of the Russian Federation,” Interfax news agency quoted the source as saying.

“This, however, has never been a reason to make a lot of noise in the press,” the source said, adding: “Consequently, any hysteria in such a case is inappropriate.”

Ellie