Russian interests and maritime terrorism

Russian interests and maritime terrorism

July 26, 2015 - the day of the Navy fleet Of Russia - Russian President Vladimir Putin approved the new edition of the National Maritime Doctrine. It is assumed that this document will become the basis for planning the country's marine activities.

It is known that the Russian Federation occupies a leading place in the world in terms of maritime area. The length of the sea coast of the country is 38,8 thousand km, which is more than two and a half times its land boundary. On the sea canals, Russia can have a connection with 126 countries, at the same time over land it borders only with 13 states. Russia holds one of the leading places in the world in terms of the length of navigable river areas (more than 100 thousand km). Such geographical characteristics determine the crucial importance of waterways, both in the interests of ensuring domestic transport, especially in regions where sea and river transport is the only mode of transport, and in foreign economic activity. And it requires, of course, ensuring security factors, including in matters of combating marine terrorism.


In 2008, the volume of cargo transshipment through the sea trading ports of Russia amounted to 451 million tons, which is 12% more than the maximum volume of cargo transportation through the ports of the Soviet Union in 1989.

About 60% of the foreign trade turnover of Russia today is carried out with the participation of maritime transport. In addition, according to the country's transport strategy for the period up to 2030, it is planned to increase the fleet share under the State flag of the Russian Federation in the world navy and significantly increase the export of transport services. There is a tendency to restore the system of cargo transportation on the inland waterways of the country.

The intensity of developing the reserves of the continental shelf of the Russian Federation is increasing, which will lead to an increase in the number of fixed platforms and increase the number of vessels in the areas of their production.

Russia possesses the Northern Sea Route, the use of which has attracted the attention of many foreign states and international organizations. The success of its operation in the interests of stable economic development of the country depends largely on ensuring the safety of navigation on it, including from threats of a terrorist nature.

The country's leadership has decided to create floating nuclear power plants to solve energy problems in remote areas of Russia. It is planned to build more 10 such stations. The first floating atomic unit should be put into operation in the Vilyuchinsk (Kamchatka) water area already in 2012.

It is not excluded that these objects can become targets for both terrorist and other kinds of criminal encroachments, either in the process of exploitation in the coastal water area or during their transportation by waterways.


According to some researchers, trends in the development of the modern situation allow us to predict a further increase in the probability of combining terrorist acts in the water spaces of the World Ocean, including in waters under the jurisdiction of Russia.

The new edition of the Maritime Doctrine of the Russian Federation envisages the task of developing the Northern Fleet, increasing its quantitative and qualitative parameters. The Arctic is a priority.

As tendencies contributing to the increased likelihood of terrorism on the water spaces of the Russian Federation, the following can be singled out:

- the increasing impact of terrorism on the political and economic life of states that are able to reduce investment attractiveness, destabilize the economy and international relations, and also become a real threat to their constitutional structure and territorial integrity;

- toughening the struggle for the ownership of resources in the oceans;

- the use by some foreign states of terrorism as an instrument of interference in the internal affairs of Russia to exert beneficial influence on Russian foreign policy, as well as one of the ways to realize their military-political, economic and strategic goals to the detriment of Russia's national interests;

- erasing the boundaries between domestic and international terrorism;

- dynamic transformation of forms, methods, means, goals, increase of the level of organization, equipment and conspiracy in the activities of terrorist organizations;

- the merging of organized crime with terrorism, with the result that the latter has become a profitable business.

Terrorism is closely associated with piracy. Piracy in its original form of sea raids appeared simultaneously with navigation and maritime trade; all coastal tribes that mastered the basics of navigation were engaged in such raids. With the advent of civilization, the line between pirates and merchants remained conditional for a long time: seafarers traded where they did not feel strong enough to rob and capture. Especially notoriously earned the most skilled sailors of the ancient world - the Phoenicians. The Odyssey poem mentions Phoenician pirates who abducted people from the island of Sira and sold them into slavery.

Antique pirates, in contrast to the pirates of New Time, attacked not so much the ships, but the coastal villages and individual travelers with the aim of capturing them and selling them into slavery (later they also began to demand a ransom for noble captives). Piracy is reflected in ancient poetry and mythology (the myth of the capture of Dionysus by the Tyrrhenian (Etruscan) pirates, as set out in Homer's hymn and Ovid's Metamorphoses, as well as some episodes in Homer's poems).

As trade and legal ties between countries and peoples developed, piracy became recognized as one of the most serious crimes, and attempts were made to jointly combat this phenomenon. The heyday of ancient piracy falls on the era of anarchy caused by the civil wars in Rome, and the base of the pirates was the mountainous region of Cilicia with its fortresses; Pirates also served as islands, especially Crete. Roman piracy flourished especially after Mithridates VI the Evpator formed an alliance with the Cilician pirates against Rome. In this era among the victims of pirates was, in particular, the young Julius Caesar. The insolence of the pirates increased to the point that they even attacked the port of Rome - Ostia - and once they captured two praetors with their retinue and insignia.

Piracy (from the Greek. Peirates - robber, robber) - unlawful seizure, robbery or sinking of merchant ships committed on the high seas by privately owned or state-owned vessels. That is, these are unlawful violent acts committed on the high seas and elsewhere outside the jurisdiction of any state.

Terrorist organizations have long resorted to piracy and sea smuggling, but in recent years they have begun to create their own military fleets and commit terrorist acts not only on land and in the air, but also at sea.

Maritime terrorism poses a serious threat to the safety of navigation, violates the generally accepted principle of freedom of the seas and often represents a threat to peace. Like piracy, it is a crime of international character. According to the methods and methods of implementing marine terrorism and piracy are very similar. The only difference is in the goals pursued by the performers: for the pirates, the main thing is enrichment, profit, and the aim of the terrorists is to intimidate the authorities in order to fulfill their, as a rule, political demands.


The number of terrorist groups that specialize in attacks using the waters of the seas and oceans has increased dramatically over the past decades. They strike their blows not only from the sea, but also from land. The tactics of these actions vary from the use of ground groups equipped with destructive charges to the actions of underwater swimmers. Their equipment is quite modern: magnetic sticky mines, underwater transporters, high-speed boats, sea scooters, even mini-submarines and torpedoes, driven by suicide bombers.

Over the past decade, the number of robberies on commercial ships has tripled. In 2000 alone, it grew by 40% compared to 1999 year. Two thirds of such attacks occur in the Asia-Pacific region, that is, in the same water area where naval terrorists operate.

The main areas of piracy today are Southeast Asia, the South China Sea, West and East Africa, South America and the Caribbean. As we see, their water area is adjacent to the coast of countries where Islamic and other terrorists are based, as well as rebels of various directions.

Last year 350 registered pirate attacks off the coast of Indonesia and the Philippines. As is known, a large number of Muslims live in these countries, in Indonesia - over 160 million. Finally, over the past five years, the number of pirate attacks in the Mediterranean and Black Seas has significantly increased, primarily in the waters washing the shores of Lebanon, Syria, Turkey and Georgia.

Attacks of pirates are accompanied by unlimited violence, murder and harassment of those who were on board. There are many cases when pirates take hostage the most wealthy or influential passengers in order to obtain ransom. Separate attacks are committed precisely in order to take such rich people hostage.

By the way, naval terrorists are conducting the same kind of operations. They, like pirates, require funds to buy equipment and finance their shares. And here they completely merge with the pirates, and therefore they increasingly more closely interact with them, to the extent that some robber raids are carried out jointly.

According to the British Lloyd Agency, before more than 90% of terrorist attacks on water took place in the seas off the coast of developing countries, whose leaders were incompetent in the fight against extremists and did not possess the forces and means for this. However, in the last five-year period, sea terrorists, using more and more modern ships and military equipment, began to transfer their operations to the shores of the most civilized states, sometimes invading their territorial waters, aggressively attacking in ports and raids. There was a danger of capture and sinking of giant cruise liners on the high seas.

The foregoing testifies that the task of organizing an effective counteraction to sea terrorism, as well as its manifestations in other elements, has already gone beyond the framework of national and even regional problems and has become the object of the most urgent urgent need of the entire civilized world.

According to the most knowledgeable experts, in the near future, international terrorism can focus its attention on the third element of nature - the water element and go on to large-scale operations against its typical targets: cargo, passenger and warships, ports and shipyards.

Memorial to American sailors who died in the Yemen port of 17, installed at the US naval base Norfolk.
Photo from

The vulnerability of military and commercial shipping to such attacks was convincingly demonstrated by 12 on October 2000, when two martyrs, a member of the Al-Qaeda organization, crashed into the American destroyer Cole moored at the wall of the Yemeni port of Aden on a motorboat. A charge of explosives weighing about 300 kg punched a gap of 72 square in the shipboard. m. 17 killed American sailors and more than 40 were seriously injured.

October 23, after 10 days, two boats with suicide bombers from the Tamil Elam Liberation Tigers organization crashed into the passenger ferries of Sri Lanka, one of which sank, and the second was badly damaged. At the same time, more than 400 people died. Two weeks later, Hamas militants attacked an Israeli rocket ship and did not destroy it only because of the premature detonation of the charge. The list of such attacks contains dozens of ships of all classes.

The largest number of terrorist attacks at sea was committed by the Tigers of Tamil Eelam Liberation Tigers fighting for the creation of an independent Tamil state in northeastern Sri Lanka. As a recognized leader among Asian terrorist organizations, it has created the most sophisticated maritime component - practically the largest non-state fleet in the world, operatively operating as part of two separate formations.

These examples show that in the near future, international terrorism can focus its attention on the water element and move on to large-scale operations against its typical targets: cargo, passenger and warships, ports and shipyards.


Analysis of the current dynamics and tendencies of international terrorism as a whole, its many specific aspects makes it possible to single out the following categories of the existing threat contour in relation to maritime transport:

- the seizure or hijacking of a sea vessel or the control over it by force or threat of force or by any other form of intimidation;

- the commission of an act of violence against any person on board a ship (port area), if this act could threaten the safety of navigation of the vessel (port security);

- the destruction of the seagoing vessel or the damage to it or its cargo that may threaten the safe navigation of the vessel or the safety of the port;

- placing or carrying out actions with the aim of placing on board a ship (including a vessel located on the port territory) in any way devices that can destroy this ship, inflict damage to this ship or its cargo that threaten or may threaten safe navigation this vessel or port security;

- the use of ships and vessels by subjects of international terrorism as an indirect (indirect) object of terrorist activity;

- the use of maritime transport by persons involved in transnational organized crime as a means of carrying out illegal activities;

- the destruction of maritime navigation equipment, or serious damage to it, or the creation of serious interference with its operation, if any such act could threaten the safety of navigation of ships;

- destruction of a port facility or serious damage to it that threatens or may threaten the safety of navigation or the safety of the port;

- the communication of knowingly false information that may endanger the safety of navigation of ships or the safety of the port.

Subjects of international terrorism are actively using maritime transport for its intended purpose. Sea transport is the most convenient means for covert transit movement (according to legalized or fake documents) for a considerable distance. At the same time, ships and passengers are not exposed to danger, and the actual threat is realized on the territory of third countries that are the object of projection of terrorist activity.

Transportation of operational documentation, propaganda materials, weapons, ammunition, explosives, radioactive and toxic substances.

Another aspect is the use of ships as a vehicle for delivering terrorists and hostages to a certain geographical point after the terrorist act committed outside the sphere of maritime transport.

Sea transport is objectively a sphere of interest of persons involved in criminal activities involved in such areas as illegal migration; illegal circulation of narcotic substances; illegal money transfer; smuggling of weapons, ammunition, cultural property and works of art, etc.

It is impossible to ignore the fact that a substantial part of the operations and movements of organized crime subjects by regular flights of passenger ships is carried out under the cover of ordinary passenger and cargo flows. In addition to terrorist acts carried out at sea by international terrorist organizations and pursuing mainly political goals, and piracy, similar acts are also possible, planned and carried out by competitors against ships of major shipping companies and the above facilities for purely economic purposes, aimed at eliminating competitors from the market of relevant services .

In connection with the constantly emerging competition in the world, the threat of competitive struggle with inadequate, including terrorist, methods will increase. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct analytical and preventive work in this direction.

When terrorists seize a ship, urgent measures to free it are not always acceptable. After all, the goal of terrorists is increasingly not extortion, but political demands or actions of intimidation. In this case, the lives of passengers and crew are at risk, and there is a risk of ecological disaster.

The proposals on the formation of special self-defense teams on ships are becoming more insistent. So far, however, the international status of such a team has not been determined. And the cost of its maintenance will largely depend on how effectively organized protection against terrorism in seaports.


Actions taken in the format of countering terrorism in maritime transport can be grouped into the following functional blocks.

Improving the system of ensuring your own safety in maritime transport, which includes:

- toughening the procedure for acquiring tickets, check-in and inspection of passengers and cargo (in order to exclude access to the board of individuals and objects representing the smallest degree of threat);

- the introduction of mandatory psychological testing of all passengers (“profiling”) and their personal inspection, including the use of detectors detecting traces of explosives;

- build-up of technical control and security facilities;

- equipping the entrances to the pier with inspection points equipped with inspection equipment to monitor passengers, escorts, and visitors, as well as baggage and belongings;

- development and implementation of a system for the exchange of information between employees of seaports and representatives of services conducting operational investigative activities, on the facts of the preparation of terrorist acts, as well as on the persons involved in this;

- the establishment of situational monitoring centers in seaports to ensure the control and coordination of the activities of all seaport services, law enforcement agencies and special services involved in ensuring maritime security;

- the formation of an exclusive security zone around the port facilities;

- comprehensive training of employees of departmental security services;

- increased vigilance and a conscious attitude to the terrorist threat of the entire personnel of the courts and the leaders of shipping organizations;

- competent implementation of security plans, as well as the use of technical means, which allows to increase the safety of navigation, reduce the danger and consequences of terrorist acts, losses from piracy.

Improvement and implementation of technical means to protect the vessels themselves, first of all the installation:

- alarm systems; access control and management systems;

- security television systems;

- communication systems.

The introduction of a set of proactive measures in order to prevent terrorist acts.

Assessment of threats and risks of the entire infrastructure with thorough follow-up of all personnel in order to identify criminal elements and potential terrorists.


Within the territorial waters of Russia, piracy should be qualified as robbery (Article 162 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). As mentioned above, pirate actions consist in the seizure or hijacking of a vessel (Art. 211 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). However, these actions are accompanied by the seizure or retention of persons as hostages, which can be qualified according to the disposition of art. 206 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, as committed in order to force the state, organization or citizen to take any action or refrain from it, as a condition for the release of the hostage.

At the same time, in accordance with the Federal Law "On Countering Terrorism" and the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Art. 205-1), the seizure of a vessel and the taking of hostages are recognized as crimes of a terrorist nature.

According to the authors, taking into account the increase in the scale of piracy in cases where piracy actions to seize ships and other objects in the water area are committed using weapons, defiantly pose a serious threat to the interests of public and state security, they should be considered as terrorist. This should be reflected in the course of activities to suppress such actions.

Knowledge of the motives and objectives of piracy or terrorist activity also allows for a deep study of the causes and conditions for the existence of these socially dangerous phenomena, and from the point of view of law enforcement practice it contributes to the timely detection and prevention of acts of terrorism and piracy, and the carrying out of measures to curb them.

The most important condition for combating terrorism is the decisiveness, intransigence and rigidity of the response, the presence of well-trained, trained, technically well equipped and equipped special units (both public and private).

The problem of maritime terrorism is among the new challenges and threats to the security of states and their citizens. The actions of terrorists affect the interests of the entire world community; therefore, at present, international law is designed to serve the interests of solving global problems of mankind, the acuteness of which is constantly increasing in the modern world.

The social danger of terrorist crimes on the water spaces of the Russian Federation is extremely high and is determined by the possibility of large human casualties and serious environmental consequences, as well as significant damage in the political sphere.

With this in mind, it is obvious that additional measures are needed to ensure the safety of water areas and water transport facilities, including by improving the training system for special forces and assets, as well as further improving the organizational and management structure of government bodies to suppress terrorist and other criminal actions in water areas. .

All the main functional areas of the national maritime policy, naval activities in the course of updating and building up the general-purpose naval forces of the operational-strategic (operational) formations of the Russian Navy, including the formation of shipboard strike groups based on aircraft-carrying cruisers in the Northern, Black Sea and Pacific Fleets , will ensure the safety of maritime transport, labor protection, environmental protection from the possible negative effects of maritime activities.

The fight against sea terrorism and its social consequences is impossible without improving the system of protection and protection of the state border, protection of internal sea waters, territorial sea, exclusive economic zone, the continental shelf of the Russian Federation, as well as the Russian part of the Caspian, Azov and Black seas and their natural resources, strengthening of control over the conduct of fishing in conventional fishery areas. These tasks confirm and expand the changes in the Russian Maritime Doctrine approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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  1. Boa kaa 30 August 2015 02: 26 New
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    Long academic article. But there is room for doubt in it.
    Russia has the Northern Sea Route, the use of which attracted the attention of many foreign states and international organizations. The success of its operation in the interests of stable economic development of the country largely depends on ensuring the safety of navigation on it, including from terrorist threats.
    It’s hard for me personally to imagine (during the normal work of the FSB) the organization of the terrorist attack on the NSR. And piracy in the Arctic is somehow difficult to imagine. Where should they be based? On Sannikov Land? or on a drifting ice floe?
    The most terrible for the NSR will be the threat of amov submarines. Here are the real pirates under the canopy of a star-striped flag.
    1. SAG
      SAG 30 August 2015 03: 22 New
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      Where should they be based? On Sannikov Land? or on a drifting ice floe?

      Rather, it will be Shpitsbergen. Mattresses are ready to do a lot if only to harm Russian interests. No need to write off submarines and combat swimmers.
      Before, it was hard to imagine much, for example, hybrid or cyber warfare. But generally warned - means armed.
      1. Hleb 30 August 2015 03: 35 New
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        moreover, full-scale wars are being waged today and they are quite calmly called the fight against terrorism. the concept of terrorism is still ambiguous and the United States is engaged in natural terrorism in order to change the economic or political system of a country.
        and the Arctic is one of the links in the chain of American terror. and it’s not necessary to apply known methods with pirates and bombings. here one question across the Arctic directly affects the economy and defense and constantly maintains tension.
      2. bmv04636 30 August 2015 11: 17 New
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        swimmers say at a subzero temperature of water how much to hold out even in a wetsuit?
    2. sir.jonn 30 August 2015 05: 42 New
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      Quote: BoA KAA
      Long academic article. But there is room for doubt in it.
      Russia has the Northern Sea Route, the use of which attracted the attention of many foreign states and international organizations. The success of its operation in the interests of stable economic development of the country largely depends on ensuring the safety of navigation on it, including from terrorist threats.
      It’s hard for me personally to imagine (during the normal work of the FSB) the organization of the terrorist attack on the NSR. And piracy in the Arctic is somehow difficult to imagine. Where should they be based? On Sannikov Land? or on a drifting ice floe?
      The most terrible for the NSR will be the threat of amov submarines. Here are the real pirates under the canopy of a star-striped flag.

      Of course, terrorists in the fierce north will not arrange a base, but different organizations such as "Green peace" will create dangerous situations, here they should be afraid of them with the support of the "homosexual" public.
      1. sir.jonn 30 August 2015 15: 34 New
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        Ha ha ha, the greens and the gomseks minus. wassat
  2. polite people 30 August 2015 04: 25 New
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    The topic is very important and really very relevant. Therefore, we are building the construction of high-speed missile boats. We will soak lovers of quick profit in the salty waters of the World Ocean.
  3. sl22277 30 August 2015 05: 02 New
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    Terrorism in the waters is not only necessary to talk about, but also the adoption of relevant laws. Expanding the possibility of using weapons and military equipment by the Russian Armed Forces. To eliminate the threat of a terrorist act in inland waters, in the territorial sea, on the Russian continental shelf, while ensuring the safety of national maritime navigation. Given the scale of terrorism in the world, the difficult domestic political situation in our country, we should obviously expect that terrorism at sea will become a frequent, very acute and not so distant problem for us, but approaching close to our shores.
  4. Monster_Fat 30 August 2015 07: 50 New
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    Bullshit article. It is simply written "by order" - when you need to write a "reply" about anything. Correctly, it is necessary to tighten the stay of passengers on passenger ships as much as possible — before boarding the vessel, conduct interrogations with an addiction to reveal “psychological” deviations, undress completely and give out disposable clothes, keep luggage indoors, where there is no access for passengers, put cameras in cabins and toilets, what if terrorists conspire there, should passengers be allowed to travel only accompanied by armed guards, etc. where else will the unhealthy "imagination" of the zealous "security" guardians in maritime transport lead? Once again, I am convinced that in our country a huge number of do-it-yourself “borosopists” have divorced, who come up with all kinds of kuynyu to justify their existence, justifying this with considerations of “security”.
  5. APASUS 30 August 2015 10: 03 New
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    When they write about modern filibuster, one component is always silent. How do pirates find a tanker on the high seas about 400 miles from the coast, or why are American ships not attacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia?
    The bottom line is that all such groups have quite specific knowledge about navigation on the high seas (here you can partially refer to the fact that they are fishermen) and information about the cargo. All these so-called pirates are in the service of states, special services or corporations playing big political game.
    And if you fight them, you need to start on the beach ...........
    1. 17085 30 August 2015 12: 44 New
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      Oirjunimagu ...
      American what ??? Sorry for my reaction, but ships under the flag of the SGA are mostly military, or are engaged in coastal shipping. He doesn’t bring them to Somalia. For example, I work for a company whose office is in the HGA, in Houston, but I wasn’t attacked for this reason, usually armed Poles, Georgians and Dogs on board the ship ... all with machine guns and all the country men.
      I have not heard of attacks 400 miles from the coast, throw a stone at the one who misinformed you ...
      1. APASUS 30 August 2015 14: 20 New
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        Quote: 17085
        I have not heard of attacks 400 miles from the coast, throw a stone at the one who misinformed you ...

        Yes, no problem, let's laugh. The Atalanta EU NAVFOR anti-piracy mission compiled and published a map of the locations of the seizure of ships by Somali pirates in 2010-11.

        The map is clickable. Will you figure it out on a scale yourself or do you need it specifically for ships?
        1. 17085 30 August 2015 18: 18 New
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          400 miles from the coast? WHERE?

          This simply cannot be due to the specifics of the water area.

          Although clearly custom-made captures were, under the guise, so to speak.

          Actually ... the Internet is there to help, you can find out which ship, with what cargo, and most importantly where it is. The vessel is obliged to report five days before arrival at the ports of India, for example ...
          Look how many attacks are now ... NOT ONE !!!
          1. APASUS 31 August 2015 07: 19 New
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            Quote: 17085
            400 miles from the coast? WHERE?

            Did Jen Psaki bite you all there?
            America is an amazing country, even an attack map is not an argument. I need to run naked on WALL STREET so that they believe me or break the headquarters of the United States Navy
  6. 17085 30 August 2015 12: 35 New
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    Guys, everything has long been said and done about the struggle for safety in maritime transport (maritime security) on a global scale, my uncle was late ... a little ... about 15 years old ... by the way, Russia participates in all these conventions. The author seems to have collapsed from oak. In Russia, the situation is forever in a stupor .... We do not have a ministry of river or sea transport. Since Russia has neither one nor the other. There is no one to do this and not for anyone. You can talk a lot on this topic, but this is a conversation in favor of the poor - a conversation about nothing. Because Russia has neither sea nor river transport. Pensioners or their grandchildren-relatives with funny sea experience, or rather outdated or absent, are sitting in the offices of port captains. So get out such articles with a claim to genius. The main thing I wrote at the very beginning. Read the guidance ...
  7. akudr48 30 August 2015 13: 16 New
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    Speaking purely specifically, it should be borne in mind that, to the extent necessary, the Northern Sea Route could be stimulated for foreign carriers by seriously strengthened and directed actions by the control structures over sea routes, structures that are still called, by thoughtlessness or in disguise, as pirated.
  8. revnagan 30 August 2015 15: 55 New
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    "The first floating nuclear unit should be put into operation in the water area of ​​Vilyuchinsk (Kamchatka) already in 2012." (cit).
    FAQ? Now already, like, 2015, no?