(AFP) – Oct 3, 2008
MOSCOW (AFP) — Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday Moscow wanted to work with the European Union and the United States to stop piracy, as talks to release a Ukrainian ship off Somalia made progress.
"Russia will try to put an end to pirate lawlessness," said Sergei Lavrov, Itar-Tass reported.
"The naval forces of several countries are present (near Somalia) and I am certain it would be useful to establish a coordination between them," he said.
Lavrov referred to a UN Security Council resolution adopted June 2 that allowed international warships to enter Somali waters to catch pirates.
"We are going to act using this resolution, as the United States and the EU are doing," said Lavrov.
On Wednesday, 10 EU member states said they were ready to participate in a European land and sea operation to fight piracy in Somalia's waters.
Piracy has been rampant off the coast of Somalia in recent months, but the Ukrainian ship is the most spectacular catch to date, with a cargo of 33 Soviet-era combat tanks and other heavy weaponry.
The pirates have demanded a 20-million-dollar ransom for the release of the MV Faina, which they seized September 25.
The vessel is currently moored off the coastal village of Hobyo, some 500 kilometres (300 miles) north of the capital Mogadishu.
It is surrounded by a number of foreign warships, included US navy vessels tasked with monitoring the situation and ensuring that the military equipment is not offloaded to shore.
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