Russia is in discussions the United States, EU and NATO on developing a legal framework to deal with pirates in the Horn of Africa region, the Russian defense minister said on Friday.
"Combating piracy is a legal rather than an organizational problem. So far, there is no legal mechanism in the fight against piracy, there are no international courts and no prisons. Now we are thrashing out these issues with NATO, the EU and the U.S.," Anatoly Serdyukov said.
The inadequacies in international law were highlighted when the Russian Navy detained 10 Somalia pirates who had hijacked a Russian-owned oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden.
The Moscow University case became the last straw for Russia, which was forced to release the pirates in one of their boats after it became clear they did not fall under the jurisdiction of any state or international law. It has since pushed for the holes in international law to be filled.
Serdyukov said the partners discussed the issues of maintaining joint patrols - protecting commercial shipping in the region is an expensive business - as well as exchanging information related to piracy.
"Russian naval warships as well fleets of other countries maintain patrol in this region for free," the defense minister said. "When a convoy is formed, all civil vessels in the region join it."
MOSCOW, May 21 (RIA Novosti)