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Russia Keeps on Patrolling Gulf of Aden to Fight Piracy

Russia Keeps on Patrolling Gulf of Aden to Fight Piracy 20.11.2012
Text: Vzglyad
Photo: boston.com
Presence of Russian warships in the Gulf of Aden will be continued with the view to fight piracy; moreover, it is necessary to impose sanctions upon leaders of pirate groupings threatening maritime shipping, said Vitaly Churkin, Russian ambassador to the UN.

Russia supports the initiative to prolong the authority to perform all needed counter-piracy measures near Somalia and within its territorial waters, said the Russian diplomat debating about piracy at the UN Security Council, reports RIA Novosti.

"We plan to continue presence of our naval force in the Gulf of Aden working in close cooperation with other states and regional organizations", he said.

According to Churkin, "detection and neutralization of key figures in pirate industry becomes the most urgent issue today". "In this context, we advocate imposing of targeted sanctions against pirate elite", Churkin said regretting the initiative was not supported by some members of UN Security Council.

"We expect them to review their position", he stressed.

Opening the debates, UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said 291 pirate attacks had been performed in 10 months of the current year; pirates are holding 293 hostages, he added.

Pirates are most active near west and east coasts of Africa.

According to Vzglyad newspaper, International Maritime Bureau (IMB) reported on Oct 22 that overall number of pirate attacks had reduced down the lowest level in the recent three years; however, the threat of piracy is growing in the Gulf of Guinea.

In 2012, number of pirate attacks has dropped down to record level comparing to 2009, reports IMB.

Pirates have killed at least six sailors and took about 450 hostages in this year worldwide. According to the IMB report, 125 ships were captured, 24 hijacked, and 26 attacked by fire.

Besides, 58 attempts of pirating came into the view of IMB. Take note, in the first nine months of 2012 only 70 pirate attacks were recorded, comparing to 199 attacks in same period of 2011.

Since July through Sept 2012, only one ship informed on attempted pirating near Somalia, while there was 36 incidents in same period of last year.

However, IMB warns sailors about threats in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. Also, according to the IMB report, piracy becomes increasingly dangerous in the Gulf of Guinea (34 incidents since Jan through Sept 2012 comparing to 30 in 2011) and spreads westward from Benin coast. Recall that since early 2011, Somali pirates earned $135 mln ransoms setting up a record in this area.

According to deputy commander of EU Operation Atalanta Rear Admiral Kristian Kanov, in 2010 pirates got $80 mln ransom. Through the recent five years, appetite of the present-day filibusters has grown by eight times Ц in 2007, standard ransom for a ship was about $600,000 and in 2011 the sum was $4.6 mln.

Six or seven warships conduct permanent patrols along Somali coast. Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, and Belgium take the most active part in the Operation Atalanta prolonged till the end of 2012.

Russian warships have been securing commercial shipping near the Horn of Africa and in the Gulf of Aden since 2008.

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