Russian Navy Destroyers start escort missions in Gulf of Aden

The Admiral Panteleyev missile destroyer

The Russian Navy has started escorting commercial vessels through the Gulf of Aden

A Russian Udaloy class destroyer has started escorting its first convoy of nine commercial vessels after a recent arrival to the Gulf of Aden.

A new task force from Russia’s Pacific Fleet, which comprises the Admiral Panteleyev missile destroyer, the Butoma supply tanker and the Fotiy Krylov salvage tugboat, arrived in the area on September 28.

“Upon the arrival, the task force carried out scheduled maintenance, replenished water and fuel supplies, and after forming its first international convoy of nine commercial vessels started escorting it along the designated safety corridor,” Pacific Fleet’s spokesman Capt. 1st Rank Roman Martov said on Tuesday.

Martov said the convoy is heading toward the Suez Canal via the Bab el-Mandeb Strait.

The Russian Navy has maintained a presence off the Somali coast since October 2008, with warships operating on a rotating basis.

Admiral Panteleyev carried out its previous anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden from late April to early June, 2009.

The destroyer also held joint anti-piracy drills with the Republic of Singapore and Indonesian navies in May 2011.

Russia began rotating naval patrol ships off the coast of Somali in 2010 to help combat the fight against Piracy.  Russia strategically wants to be engaged in the region. This is one way to visibly tell the world that Russia is, and wants to be an active player in trying to solve international strategic crises.  Another angle to look at this is Russia’s attempt to reestablish itself in African affairs.  China, India, the U.S., Europe are all doing their best to maximize, enhance their interests and Russia is following suit.

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