First Deputy Chief of the Navy Main Staff, Vice-Admiral Oleg Burtsev told journalists today the Navy headquarters will not move from Moscow to St. Petersburg. He says the decision not to move was taken a year ago. He declined to say whether the Main Staff will remain in its current location in Moscow. But he added:
“Two variants for the location of the staff are being reviewed, but the decision about which of them to choose has not been made.”
The Main Staff won’t remain on Bolshoy Kozlovskiy Lane, near the Krasnyye Borota Metro, and media sources are saying it will either move into the Genshtab’s building on Znamenka, or into the Frunze Military Academy (Combined Arms Academy) building.
The idea for the move came from Putin ally and Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov in 2007, and received support, not surprisingly, from St. Petersburg politicos. Affected naval officers actively opposed the move, and their seniors were ambivalent at best. It looks like Serdyukov’s Defense Ministry slow-rolled until the decision was reversed. Not that it opposed the idea of freeing up expensive property for sale, but the cost and disruption of moving the Navy headquarters was prohibitive.