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Kenya seeks further cooperation with Ukraine despite ship hijack

24.02.2009 Source: en.rian.ru

Kenya looks to continue military cooperation with Ukraine despite the recent hijacking of a cargo ship with 33 tanks on board, the head of a Ukrainian arms exporting company said on Thursday.

The Faina freighter was hijacked off the Horn of Africa on September 25, 2008, and released last Thursday after the pirates received a $3.2 million ransom.

Ukrspetsexport's director Serhiy Bondarchuk said Kenya was "happy" with the heavy weapons and materiel received from Ukraine.

"The Kenyan side is very pleased with the equipment it has received. After they were taken ashore, all the tanks started up and moved under their own power," he said. "We have already agreed on further cooperation."

According to the UN, Somali pirates carried out at least 120 attacks on ships in 2008, and received ransoms totaling around $150 million for the ships they seized.

Around 20 warships from the navies of at least 10 countries, including Russia, are involved in anti-piracy operations off Somalia. The East African country, ravaged by years of civil war, has no functioning government.

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