NATO-Russian cooperation at sea

  • 02 Aug. 2010 -
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  • Last updated: 03 Aug. 2010 16:01

In a sign of continuing cooperation between NATO and the Russian Federation, naval commanders met earlier this week, at sea in the Gulf of Aden, to share experiences regarding counter piracy operations. Commodore Michiel Hijmans (Royal Netherlands Navy), Commander of NATO’s counter piracy Task Force, hosted the Russian Task Force Commander, Senior Captain Vladimir Kondratov, on board the Dutch flagship HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën.

The two commanders had met earlier in June when their ships rendezvoused in the Atlantic Ocean on their way to the Gulf of Aden, where they spoke of possible future cooperation. Now approximately six weeks later, the Russian ship RFS Admiral Levchenko was once again invited to rendezvous with the NATO flag ship to share information and to discuss future ways of collaboration between NATO and the Russian Federation in the area of counter piracy.

The Chief of Staff of the NATO Task Force, Commander Ricardo Hernandez (Spanish Navy), said: “Every meeting with commanders and representatives of other counter piracy task forces is extremely useful and it will greatly benefit the operation. The operation area is a vast space, comparable to the size of the continent of Europe, and therefore any opportunity to discuss the coordination of counter piracy units will help safeguard the shipping lanes off the Horn of Africa.

The NATO Task Force will continue to contribute to the counter piracy effort off Somalia as part of Operation Ocean Shield until at least December 2012. NATO continues to cooperate with other ship formations including the Task Force of the European Union and the Task Force of the Combined Maritime Forces, as well as with independent navies from India, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Australia and China.