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Russian Maritime Border Guard

Posted to Maritime Musings (by on July 30, 2013

Sometimes referred to as the “Russian Coast Guard”

The Russian Maritime Border Guard is part of the Russian Border Guard Service, which is part of the Federal Security Service of Russia.  The Federal Security Service is the successor to the Soviet KGB, which collapsed with the rest of the Soviet Government in 1991.  The Maritime Border Guard is sometimes referred to as the Russian Coast Guard.  Unlike the US Coast Guard, though, the Russian Maritime Border Guard has no role with regard to maritime safety or aids to navigation and little role in marine environmental protection.  It is, though, a potent force with regard to maritime law enforcement, particularly in maritime border security and fisheries/natural resource protection.  The Maritime Border Guard operates six frigates, twelve light frigates, 27 offshore patrol vessels, and six patrol icebreakers, among its fleet of over 100 total vessels.  It also operates  number of fixed wing aircraft and helicopters.  While closely aligned with the Russian Navy, the Maritime Border Guard operates its own training institute, located in the Black Sea port of Anapa.  The six patrol icebreakers were built in the Soviet era (1975-81) and have a displacement of 3,400 tons and a length of 70 meters.  In August 1990, the flagship of the Soviet Maritime Border Guard made a port call in San Francisco at the gathering of international Coast Guard vessels attending ceremonies commemorating the 200th anniversary of the founding of the US Coast Guard.  Since that time, the two services have met annually to coordinate fisheries enforcement and other efforts in waters of the Bering Sea and the North Pacific Ocean.  The meetings are hosted by the USCG Seventeenth District in Alaska and the Russian Maritime Border Guard Far Eastern Division.  The meeting sites alternate each year between the two nations.  Vessels of the two services regularly undertake cooperative law enforcement patrols.  

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