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UN Security Council adopts Russian anti-piracy resolution

RIA Novosti


NEW YORK, April 27 (RIA Novosti) - The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution proposed by Russia on the creation of a special body to try hijackers captured during anti-piracy operations off the Somali coast.

According to the resolution, the UN Security Council has called on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to provide "concrete" measures for the prosecution of pirates, including a special chamber at the national court of one of the countries in the region.

Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, expressed hope that the UN Secretary-General's report would contain "concrete proposals and recommendations" on the prosecution of pirates, particularly the creation of a "special juridical anti-piracy body".

The diplomat said that the absence of an established legal system in the fight against sea piracy hinders the "elimination of the whole piracy problem".

He also said that sometimes "people suspected of piracy are released just because it is impossible to bring them to justice quickly".

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.

In 2008, pirates staged 111 attacks off the Somali coast, seizing 42 ships.

About 20 countries, including leading NATO member states, India, China and several Arab states, have sent warships to the Gulf of Aden.

Russian warships joined the fight against Somali pirates in the fall of 2008, when the Neustrashimy frigate was sent to the Somali coast from the Baltic Sea. Since then, the Russian Navy has maintained a near-permanent presence off the Horn of Africa, with warships operating on a rotation basis.

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