Source Pravda.Ru

Putin appoints navy chief

Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed a new head of the navy and presented awards to the crew of the AS-28 mini-sub and members of the rescue team, the Kremlin press service said Sunday.

According to Kremlin officials, Putin relieved Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov of the duties of navy chief by a presidential decree and discharged him from military service. The president issued another decree appointing Vladimir Masorin, the Russian Navy chief of staff, the new Commander of the Russian Navy.

Admiral Mikhail Abramov, the recent North Fleet commander, will replace Masorin as chief of staff.

Putin met with Kuroyedov, Masorin, and Sergei Ivanov, the defense minister, Sunday. During the meeting, the president praised Kuroyedov's contribution to the development of the Russian navy, saying that it was in poor shape in 1997 when Kuroyedov inherited it.

"The recent exercises, including those I have attended, show that the navy is developing and that is certainly your merit to a large extent," Putin said addressing the admiral, reports RIA Novosti.

According to Newsday, at a meeting, Putin told Kuroyedov that the Navy he inherited when he took command in 1997 was in poor shape and that it had showed signs of improvement.

"At the same time, there were difficult events, tragedies," Putin said during the meeting, which was attended by reporters. "But I would like to underline once again that with all these problems, all these tragedies, the main thing is that the Navy is undergoing a revival."

He told Masorin that he faced a difficult task, in spite of progress.

"We have seen the level of training of navy pilots and sailors, which has grown. Many naval ships have been repaired and others were launched and some of them were already commissioned," Putin said.

"We would not be able to solve all these problems even with the state's economic potential growing if we do not strengthen discipline and order and solve tasks of social protection of seamen."

Unlike the Kursk sinking, the August mini-sub crisis ended with all seven crewmen surviving unhurt thanks to an underwater robotic vehicle sent from Britain.

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