Other Russian ships to replace Pacific Fleet unit in counter-piracy mission

The Russian Pacific Fleet will embark on a two-month mission to combat sea piracy off Somalia's coast within the next few days, fleet spokesman Captain Roman Martov told Interfax-AVN on Tuesday.

"The unit of the Pacific Fleet ships under the command of Rear Admiral Vladimir Vdovenkov is expected to reach the designated district off Somalia's coast next week," he said.

In two months' time, these ships will be replaced by a unit sent by Russia's Northern, Baltic or Black Sea Fleet, he said.

"At least another unit of Pacific Fleet ships is not being formed," Martov said.

Martov declined to say whether the Pacific Fleet unit would carry out its counter-piracy mission alongside Black Sea Fleet ships, which are currently present in the eastern part of Mediterranean Sea.

The Russian Defense Ministry's press service reported earlier that the Black Sea Fleet's ships were supposed to join the Pacific Fleet unit in December.

"I know nothing about that. Our ships are prepared to tackle the tasks set to them in any situation," Martov said.

During their mission, the ships will visit the ports of Djibouti and Victoria, the capital city of the Seychelles, to stock up on drinking water and food, he said.

On Monday, the Pacific Fleet ships conducted the Indra-2012 counter-piracy exercises together with Indian naval ships, Martov said.

During the maneuvers, a Kamov Ka-27 helicopter airlifted an inspection team to India's missile carrying destroyer INS Mysore, which played the role of a "suspicious" ship during the exercises, he said.

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