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VLADIVOSTOK, November 30 (Itar-Tass) — Warships of Russia's Pacific Fleet led by the big antisubmarine ship The Admiral Panteleyev on Wednesday made a scheduled call into the port of Djibouti.
The visit of the detachment of ships will continue through to December 2, after which they will take to the water area of the Gulf of Aden where caravans of commercial ships are formed for escorting through the pirate-infested sections of the Gulf and the Bab el Mandeb Strait.
The naval unit that has arrived in the Horn of Africa region to take part in the international mission for curbing piracy and ensuring the safety of commercial navigation is the sixth one delegated by the Pacific Fleet since the start of the operation, the press service of Russia's Eastern Military District said.
Earlier, The Admiral Panteleyev led the second detachment of the Pacific Fleet's ships that had a tour of duty in the Gulf of Aden in 2009.
Apart from the replenishment of reserves and leisure, Russian sailors will have an opportunity to take part in an early round of voting in Russia's parliamentary election during their brief visit to Djibouti.
The voting will be held December 1.
In Russia, voters are expected to go to the polls Sunday, December 4.
The Republic of Djibouti is a small state located on the coast of the Gulf of Aden between Somalia and Eritrea. It has a highly ethnically mixed population of some 757,000 people, about two-thirds of them living in the capital city.
Formerly known as the French Somaliland, it gained independence in 1977.
According to an analytical report by the U.S. Department of State, “Djibouti's most important economic asset is its strategic location on the busy shipping route between the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean.”
The document indicates that roughly 60% of all commercial ships in the world use Djiboutian waters from the Red Sea through the Bab-el-Mandeb strait and into the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. “Its port is an increasingly important transshipment point for containers as well as a destination port for Ethiopian trade,” the report says.