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Piracy on the high Caspian

Security threats on the Caspian are usually discussed in a speculative fashion, like the possibility of terrorists attacking oil or gas infrastructure. But an analysis by a Russian think tank expert points out that there are currently some security issues in the Caspian, mainly piracy of fishing vessels:

One of the main problems of security providing remains poaching. Moreover, during recent years poachers began to put up armed resistance to officers of law-enforcement agencies and even attack them. According to the boundary department of the FSB of Kalmyk and Astrakhan region, in 2007-2008 there were 7 attacks of boundary cutters in this region. Thus, poachers carry out piracy. In addition, there were attacks of civil fishers and robbing of their catch and boats.

But the analyst, Sergey Mikheev, of the Institute for the Caspian Cooperation, points out one incident this summer in which an Iranian cargo vessel was threatened, apparently by pirates:

On July 8 at 2015 LT m/v Saman reported 4 suspicious crafts with 3-4 persons in each, approaching vessel under way in 44.12N 48.32E, northern Caspian sea off Russian coast, and demanding Saman to stop with apparent intention to board vessel. Crafts chased vessel for about 40 minutes and then went away. Master reported incident to Astrakhan MRCC, alert sent to all vessels in the area. Saman – IMO 9168166, dwt 6207, built 1997 Russia, flag Iran, owner Golden Sea Tehran.

As a solution, Mikheev calls for better security cooperation between the five Caspian littoral states. There will be a Caspian summit later this month, when that issue will be on the agenda.

Piracy on the high Caspian

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