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Official: Piracy of importance to Russia

May 30, 2009 at 5:49 PM

ROME, May 30 (UPI) -- Piracy was a central issue for Russian officials at a meeting of G8 interior and justice ministers in Rome, the Russian interior minister said Saturday.

"This issue has become the most important one for us. The organization of an effective response is important in this sphere," the ministry's Rashid Nurgaliyev was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying.

Warships from the navies of at least a dozen countries, including Russia, are engaged in anti-piracy operations off Somalia's coast. The United Nations said Somali pirates had carried out at least 120 attacks on ships in 2008 and the problem has persisted this year.

Nurgaliyev also said the G8 meeting touched on terrorism, organized crime, cybercrimes, child pornography and human trafficking.

"We finally feel that we are passing from statements to definite action," he said.

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