MURMANSK, April 28 (RIA Novosti)
- Russia offers help in fighting sea piracy in Gulf of Guinea
- Russia, Kenya urge concerted effort in fight against sea piracy
- Russia drops role in NATO's Med Sea operation to focus on piracy fight off Somalia
- Russia's Black Sea Fleet, South Stream and Somali Pirates
Russia has formed an anti-piracy naval task force in the Mediterranean, the Northern Fleet press service said on Saturday.
The force, to be led by the Udaloy class destroyer Vice Admiral Kulakov, will combat piracy in the most dangerous part of the world’s oceans, press chief Vadim Serga said.
The task force will arrive in the Gulf of Aden in early May to join an anti-piracy mission off the Somali coast.
The new task force will replace the Russian Pacific Fleet’s task force led by the Admiral Tributs destroyer. The Admiral Tributs, the Pechenega tanker and a rescue tugboat arrived in the Gulf of Aden on January 12 and escorted five convoys of commercial ships since then.
Task forces from the Russian Navy, usually led by Udaloy class destroyers, operate in the area on a rotating basis.
Russian warships have successfully escorted more than 130 commercial vessels from various countries through pirate-infested waters off the Somali coast since 2008, when Russia joined the international anti-piracy mission in the region.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.