The piracy problem off the Somali coast can be resolved only by means of establishing a political stability in Somalia, a Russian deputy envoy to the United Nations said.
Somalia has been without an effective government since 1991 plagued by fighting between rival warlords, famine and disease, which have claimed the lives of up to 1 million people. The issue of piracy off the Somali coast has been very acute in the recent years.
"We believe that the long-term solution of the [piracy] issue is linked with the promotion of the political process and Somalia's restoration," Alexander Pankin said addressing a UN Security Council session.
Somali pirates carried out a record number of attacks and hijackings in 2009. According to the Piracy Reporting Center of the International Maritime Bureau, a total of 217 vessels were attacked and 47 of them hijacked last year.
He added that one of the main problems in fighting Somali pirates is the absence of definite international norms for legal prosecution of detained pirates.
Russia has repeatedly called for the creation of a special juridical body to try hijackers captured during anti-piracy operations off the Somali coast. In late April, the UN Security Council adopted Russia's proposal to consider the creation of a new court for this purpose.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev pledged last week to punish pirates who seize vessels off the Somali coast "with the full force of maritime law."
Until a legal system allowing hijackers to be punished is created, "we will have to act as our forefathers did when they met pirates," he said, without specifying how exactly the pirates should be punished.
UN, May 13 (RIA Novosti)