US, Russia OK Joint Security Ops in Pacific

MOSCOW -- Russia and the United States agreed to strengthen cooperation in upholding security and fighting illegal fishing in the Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea, the Russian Coast Guard Service said Thursday.

The Russian and U.S. coastal guards have signed an agreement for cooperation in 2013, which envisaged joint counter-poaching operations in the northern Pacific.

The document was signed during the U.S. Coastal Guard commander Thomas Ostebo's visit to the regional capital of Kamchatka Peninsula, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, in Russia's Far East.

Ostebo is a commander of the U.S. 17th Coastal Guard District deployed in Alaska.

In the first nine months of 2012, Russian and U.S. coastal guards seized ten ships which had violated the border regime of either country, the Northeastern branch of Russian Coast Guard Service said on its website.

The two border services have been in contact over 500 times for the same period to coordinate operations, spokesman of the Russian Coast Guard Andrei Orlov told local media recently.

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