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Top Russian navy officer quits

THE Russian navy's chief of staff has resigned at the age of 52 due to poor health, RIA news agency quoted a high-ranking military source as saying today.

Admiral Mikhail Abramov is a former escort destroyer captain and has held the chief of staff job since September 2005, according to the Ministry of Defence website The overall commander of the havy is Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky.

"Admiral Abramov is in hospital and he recently submitted a request to be discharged from military service," RIA Novosti quoted the source as saying.

A navy spokesman declined to comment when asked by Reuters to comment on the report.

The Kremlin has pledged billions of dollars to modernise its military, included the Soviet-era navy. Last year it announced plans to build new submarines and aircraft carriers.

RIA said the most likely person to replace Abramov was the deputy commander in chief Admiral Alexander Tatarinov.


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