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Thursday, 5 December 1974
Page: 4727


Dr Forbes asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice:

(   1 ) Can he provide detailed information on the number of ships of the Russian Navy which visited the Indian Ocean during the period August 1973 to date.

(2)   If so, how many ship days did these vessels spend in the Indian Ocean.

(3)   To what facilities in the area do ships of the Russian Navy have access.

(4)   Has any effort been made by the U.S.S.R. to obtain access to additional facilities in the countries surrounding the Indian Ocean.

(5)   Can he provide any details of the number of port visits made by the Russian Navy to countries surrounding the Indian Ocean.


Mr Barnard - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(I)   The detailed information on the number of Soviet naval vessels which visited the Indian Ocean during the period August 1973 to November 1974, to the extent that such information is publicly available is:

 

The following table represents this presence on a monthly basis:

 

(2)   The total number of ship-days spent by Soviet naval vessels in the Indian Ocean throughout the period was:

 

 

The following table gives the number of ship days on a monthly basis:

 

(   3 ) Soviet Navy vessels, in the period August 1 973 to date, had access to facilities in the ports listed in the answer to part 5 of the question below. The range of facilities would have varied from port to port. Further relevant information is contained in my answer to an earlier and similar question. I refer to the answer to question 905 in the Hansard for 22 October 1973.

(4)   I do not know what approaches- additional to those reflected by the activities referred to in ( 5 ) below- the Soviet Union may have made which either were unsuccessful or have yet to result in a port visit and the use of port facilities.

(5)   During the period August 1973 to November 1974 Soviet naval vessels are known to have conducted port visits in Indian Ocean littoral countries as follows:

 

Soviet naval vessels visited other ports in the northwestern Indian Ocean, including Iraq, Somalia and the People's Democratic Republic of Yeman, and Egyptian Red Sea ports, but details of those visits are not available.







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