September 23, 2008
Russia to send ships to counter Somali pirates
The day after Vice Adm. Bill Gortney, Commander, Combined Maritime Forces, said that "the Coalition does not have the resources to provide 24-hour protection for the vast number of merchant vessels in the region," Russia said it will soon join international efforts to fight piracy off the Somalia coast.
However, it will conduct its operations independently, RIA-Novosti news agency reports Navy commander Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky as saying today.
"We are planning to participate in international efforts to fight piracy off the Somalia coast, but the Russian warships will conduct operations on their own," he said.
Russian nationals are frequently among the crews of civilian ships hijacked by pirates off the Somalia coast, notes RIA-Novosti.
At the beginning of June, the UN Security Council passed a resolution permitting countries to enter Somalia's territorial waters to combat "acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea."