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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Rogozin Calls for Joint Attack on Somali Pirates

BRUSSELS -- NATO, the European Union and others should launch land operations against bases of Somali pirates in coordination with Russia, the Russian ambassador to NATO said Wednesday.

Dmitry Rogozin said the view of Russian experts was that naval action alone, even involving a large fleet of a powerful nation, would not be enough to defeat the pirates, given Somalia's geostrategic position.

"So it is up to NATO, the EU and other major stakeholders to conduct not a sea operation, but in fact a land coastal operation to eradicate the bases of pirates on the ground," he said.

"Because we all know ... they have their bases on the ground, and of course those actions should be coordinated with Russia," Rogozin said, without making clear whether he foresaw Russia being involved in any such operation.

Rogozin said Russia's strained ties with NATO since Moscow's intervention in Georgia in August had meant that the Western alliance had not given proper recognition to Russia's contribution to naval efforts against Somali pirates.

He cited a NATO statement that hailed the courage of the crew of a British warship in repelling a pirate attack on a merchant vessel this month but made no mention of the involvement of a Russian warship in dealing with the incident.

"Maybe they should have -- at least for objectivity, for impartiality, to prove their unbiased approach -- have said a word about the Russian participation," he said.

"Because that could have significant and serious very consequences for our future cooperation ... as we say in Russia, a kind word is dear even to a cat. That could stimulate more joint positive action," he said.