Russian President Dmitry Medvedev reiterated on Thursday that Russian warships would continue patrolling commercial shipping routes off the Somali coast.
Russia joined international anti-piracy efforts in the area in October 2008 with warships operating on a rotation basis.
"I believe that we will continue to fulfill our international obligations in this [the Gulf of Aden] region for two reasons," Medvedev said.
"Primarily, we must protect our commercial ships and, under agreements with other countries, the ships sailing under foreign flags. Secondly, it helps [our naval personnel] to maintain combat readiness," the president said.
A task force led by the Northern Fleet's Admiral Levchenko, an Udaloy class guided-missile destroyer, arrived in the Gulf of Aden on July 3 to join the international anti-piracy mission near Somalia. The Russian naval group also includes the Olekma tanker and the SB-36 tugboat of Russia's Black Sea Fleet.
Admiral Levchenko has successfully escorted 13 commercial convoys with a total of 57 vessels through pirate-infested waters off the Somali coast since its arrival in the area.
A Pacific Fleet task force led by the Admiral Vinogradov destroyer will replace the current naval group in December.
According to the London-based International Maritime Bureau (IMB), the number of pirate attacks in the Gulf of Aden decreased in the first half of 2010 by 34 percent year-on-year mostly due to the ongoing anti-piracy operation off the Somali coast.
However, Somali pirates have been reported to shift their attacks from their own coast and were responsible for 44% of the 289 piracy incidents on the world's seas in the first nine months of 2010, according to IMB.
MOSCOW, November 25 (RIA Novosti)