Ukraine’s military joins fight against sea piracy

Ukraine’s government has approved a plan for implementing the President’s Decree “On sending the national contingent to support participation of Ukraine in “Ocean Shield” operation and in the EU operation “Atlanta” (EU NAVFOR ATLANTA). Under the plan, some 250 Ukrainian peacekeepers will take part in the NATO operation “Ocean Shield”, while 250 of other servicemen will be involved in the EU mission “Atlanta” on Jan. 3 through March 5, 2014, the Information-Analytical Bulletin of the Cabinet of Ministers informs.

The anti-piracy operation earlier Ukrainian Naval Forces frigate “Getman Sagaydachny” and Ka-27 helicopter manned by commandos. Tjee Ukrainian ship participates in patrolling the Gulf of Aden, off the Somali coast known for active operations of sea pirates as part of multinational group of other NATO ships.

In the framework of the “Ocean Shield” and “Atlanta” operations, missions of multinational forces include maritime surveillance, display of naval presence in the area of operation, protection, neutralization, and counteraction to pirate ships, as well as assistance to civil ships, as required.

Ukrainian servicemen will be tasked with searching for pirates and armed robbers at sea, as well as prevention of their activities through detention and seizure of vessels, escort of the UN ships, support vessels with humanitarian aid, and other ships, if they call for help.

Operation “Ocean Shield” was initiated by the North Atlantic Alliance on Aug. 17, 2009, and was aimed, first of all, to take actions against sea pirates. NATO forces oppose the armed attacks and looting of ships by pirate gangs; also, they escort the supply ships.

EU NAVFOR ATALANTA is similar in nature and tasks; however, it was first initiated by the EU as a response to the UN Security Council resolution No 1814 dated May 15, 2008. In December 2008, the EU Council of Ministers approved the start of naval operation against piracy off the Somali coast with due date till the end of 2014.

According to its international obligations, Ukraine allocated about 89 million UAH to fund the mission. According to experts, this is an important image step for Ukraine. Our country will demonstrate the strict adherence to its international obligations, while practically proving the efficiency of Ukrainian military units and national armaments. And that is really important for Ukraine as a manufacturer of modern weapons on the international market.

No less important is the fact that Ukrainian sailors will gain practical experience in coordination of efforts and actions within the multinational contingents during peacekeeping operations.


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