January 23, 2009, Moscow -- The Russian Navy has rejected media reports that the Baltic Fleet's Neustrashimy missile frigate is in an unsatisfactory technical condition, a Navy spokesman said on Friday.
"I am authorized to categorically deny this information, which aims to detract from the achievements and service of the crew of the Neustrashimy, which was the first Russian warship to implement with dignity the task of providing security for navigation in the Gulf of Aden and the Horn of Africa," Captain 1st Rank Igor Dygalo said.
The Neustrashimy was replaced as planned by the Admiral Vinogradov destroyer earlier in the month and is currently on its journey back to its base in Russia's Kaliningrad region.
"The commander of the Russian Navy continues to receive letters of appreciation from ship owners, who praise the Russian sailors," Dygalo said.
Pirates continue to be 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.
The UN Security Council adopted a resolution last December authorizing countries and multinational organizations involved in tackling piracy to "undertake all necessary measures in Somalia, including in its airspace" to prevent "acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea." (RIA Novosti)
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