MOSCOW, December 11 (RIA Novosti) – Russia will rotate at least three naval task forces on an anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden in 2013, the Defense Ministry said.
“The Russian Navy will continue its anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden and off the Horn of Africa in 2013,” a ministry’s spokesman said on Monday. “At least three tours-of-duty in the region are scheduled.”
A task force from Russia’s Pacific Fleet, comprising the Udaloy class destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov, the Irkut tanker and the Alatau rescue tug boat, will join the anti-piracy mission off the Somali coast in late December.
Task forces from the Russian Navy, usually led by Udaloy class destroyers, operate in the area on a rotating basis.
Russia joined the international anti-piracy mission in the region in 2008. Russian warships have successfully escorted 733 commercial vessels from various countries through pirate-infested waters off the Somali coast since then.
Russia has recently asked France to allow the deployment of two Ilyushin Il-38 naval reconnaissance planes at a French base in Djibouti to facilitate its anti-piracy missions in the Gulf of Aden.
Russia has also called for the creation of a special UN juridical body to try hijackers captured during anti-piracy operations off the Somali coast.
According to latest UN reports, sea pirates carried out 291 attacks and hijackings around the globe in the first 10 months of 2012. They hold at least 293 hostages.
Pirates are most active in coastal waters around Africa, especially in the Gulf of Aden.