Russia: U.S. submarine Kuril incident

Brussels 12.02.2022 Anna van Densky Russia’s Defense Ministry has summoned the U.S. military attaché over the incident with Virginia-class American nuclear-powered submarine detected on Saturday, February 12, morning near the Pacific Fleet’s drills near Iturup Island of the Kurils. (Image above: illustratoin).

“The defense attaché issues at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow has been summoned to the Russian Ministry of Defense in connection with the violation of the Russian state border by the U.S. Navy’s submarine,” the statement reads.

According to the Ministry officials, the Virginia-class submarine belonging to the U.S. Navy was detected on February 12, 2022 at 10.40 (Moscow Time) in the waters, surrounding Iturup Island.

In accordance with the laws on protection of the Russian state border in the underwater environment, the crew of the Pacific Fleet’s frigate Marshal Shaposhnikov used “appropriate means”.

The U.S. submarine started a self-propelled simulator to split the target image on radar and acoustic control means into two parts and retreated from Russian territorial waters at a maximum speed, the Russian Ministry explained.

The Pacific Fleet’s vessels continue scheduled drills, including the operations to ensure control in the underwater environment.

Iturup is the largest island in the Southern Kurils, ownership of which is a matter of a long time dispute between Russia, and Japan.

The island was Japanese territory since 1855 until the end of the Second World War in 1945, when Soviet military took over of all the Kurils and forced out Japanese residents. The island is still claimed by Japan. During the recent press conference, Japanese chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno informed that “Russia has issued a warning that it will carry out firing practice from February 8 in the area to the southeast of Kunashir Island.”

This statement was corroborated by Russian state news agency TASS. Mr. Matsuno added that “we view the increase of Russia’s military presence on the four Northern Territories as unacceptable.” Matsuno also called the drills a “navigational hazard” for the area.

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