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Over 40% of Russian Respondents Think Force Must Be Used Against Somali Pirates

October 9, 2008

MOSCOW. Oct 9 (Interfax) – Russian citizens think Somalia cannot solve the problem of piracy on its own and want force to be used to free sailors from captivity, a poll suggests.

Eighty-two percent of Russian citizens have heard reports about Somali pirates, according to a poll conducted by the Public Opinion Foundation in 100 Russian localities on October 4 and 5.

Fifty-one percent of those surveyed said Somalia cannot uproot piracy on its own and only 14% have the opposite opinion.

About one third of Russian respondents (35%) said the Somali authorities are doing nothing to curb piracy. Eighteen percent of those questioned even think that the Somali leadership supports the pirates, and only 8% said the African country is fighting against piracy.

Pirates seized the ship Faina on September 25 as it was carrying military hardware, including more than 30 T-72 tanks, to Kenya. Initially, there were 17 Ukrainians, three Russians and one Latvian citizen aboard the ship. Reports were circulated on September 28 that the captain, a Russian citizens, had had a stroke and died. The latest reports indicate that the pirates demanded an $8 million ransom for the release of the crew.

Asked what position Russia should assume in this situation, 41% of respondents said force should be used to free the crew and 36% said a ransom should be paid.

A U.S. destroyer, four U.S. warships and British and French ships are patrolling the Faina.

The ship Neustrashimy of the Russian Baltic Fleet is heading to the coast of Somalia.

(c) 2008 Daily News Bulletin; Moscow – English. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.




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