President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Shoigu, I know that today you are ready to report on the exercises underway in various parts of the oceans, including in the Far East, the south and the north, as well as those in the Central Military District and with our friends in Belarus.
Please, go ahead.
Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu: Mr President, indeed, I wanted to give an update on the exercises today.
These are large-scale exercises and they are underway in the Western Military District, involving virtually all fleets, including those in the Barents Sea, the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Pacific Fleet. Military units from virtually all military districts, including the Eastern Military District, the Central Military District and the Northern Military District, are taking part in these exercises.
Some of these exercises are nearing completion, and others will end in the near future.
I would like to note that the exercises involved drills against various types of hypothetical enemy attacks in all areas, including those of surface ships, submarines and of blue-water navies.
During the Pacific Fleet’s operations, as part of an exercise near the Kuril island of Urup, we detected a submarine, presumably that of the United States. Following almost three-hour operations, the submarine was expelled from the territory of the Russian Federation. Actually, it had ventured over four kilometres into Russian territorial waters, a large distance, by local standards. We conducted special operations three times and forced the submarine to leave Russia’s territorial waters.
Such activity in the east is absolutely incomprehensible and unjustified. But I want to repeat once again that the exercises will proceed: some of them are over, others are nearing completion, and we still have to accomplish certain tasks, with due consideration for the scale of the exercises that were planned and launched on your instruction in December.
Vladimir Putin: Ok, thank you very much.
We will now go into more detail.