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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Neustrashimy frigate returning to base as planned - Russian Navy

RIA Novosti

21/01/2009 21:32 MOSCOW, January 21 (RIA Novosti) - The Baltic Fleet's Neustrashimy missile frigate is in the Mediterranean Sea on its planned journey back to its base in Russia's Kaliningrad exclave, a Navy spokesman said Wednesday.

The Admiral Vinogradov destroyer replaced the Neustrashimy in the Gulf of Aden earlier this month, escorting civilian vessels through areas where Somali pirates are active. Western media have reported that the change was due to technical malfunctions on the frigate.

But Captain 1st Rank Igor Dygalo said the replacement was a scheduled one.

"All mechanisms and machinery on the Neustrashimy vessel are operating normally. There are no problems on board the ship," the spokesman said.

Pirates have been increasingly active in the waters off Somalia, where over 110 ships were attacked in 2008, with 42 vessels seized and 815 crew members abducted. Up to 20 warships from the navies of at least 10 countries are involved in anti-piracy operations off the coast of the lawless East African nation.

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