Russia not to reinforce anti-piracy presence in Gulf of Aden

Russia not to reinforce anti-piracy presence in Gulf of Aden
# 07 May 2010 22:26 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. Russia has no plans to beef up its task force in the Gulf of Aden following a pirate attack on a Russian tanker, the chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces said on Friday, APA reports quoting “RIA Novosti”.
"We have no plans to reinforce our deployment," said Gen. Nikolai Makarov, who is also first deputy defense minister.
A SWAT team from the anti-submarine destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov freed the Moscow University tanker and its 23 crewmembers on Thursday. The ship was hijacked by Somali pirates on Wednesday en route from the Red Sea to China.
One pirate was killed and several injured in a 22-minute operation. The pirates were captured, but later released. Makarov said Russia had "no legal grounds for detaining them" as they could not be prosecuted under international or national law.
A Russian special investigations committee spokesman initially said that all the detained pirates involved in hijacking the tanker would be sent to Moscow to face legal proceedings and prosecution.
The Russian task force comprising the RFS Marshal Shaposhnikov, the MB-37 salvage tug and the Pechenga tanker arrived in the Gulf of Aden on March 29 to join the anti-piracy mission in the region.
Somali pirates carried out a record number of attacks and hijackings in 2009. According to the International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Center, a total of 217 vessels were attacked last year, resulting in 47 hijackings.
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