Russia resumes ant-piracy mission off Somali coast


Russian Defense Ministry officials said Russia will resume its anti-piracy mission near Somalia in early July, APA learned from local media in Moscow yesterday.

The Russian Pacific Fleet’s task force, led by the guided-missile destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov, has accomplished its anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden and is on its way to its homeport of Vladivostok.

However, according to the ministry, the Marshal Shaposhnikov will be replaced by the Admiral Levchenko, currently en route to the Mediterranean and expected to arrive in the region in early July.

The task force comprising the Marshal Shaposhnikov, the MB-37 salvage tug and the Pechenga tanker arrived in the Gulf of Aden on March 29 and escorted 11 convoys totaling over 100 commercial vessels from different countries.

The Russian Navy has maintained a presence off the Horn of Africa with warships operating on a rotation basis. Russia joined the international anti-piracy efforts off the Somali coast in October 2008.

The task force was the fourth group of warships from the Russian Pacific Fleet engaged in the anti-piracy mission off Somalia, with the previous three task forces led by the Admiral Vinogradov, Admiral Panteleyev and the Admiral Tributs destroyers.

The Northern and Baltic fleets have also contributed to the mission, the ministry said.

Pic: Marshal Shaposhikov vessel

Sources: and APA