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War between trade and piracy threatening Georgian mariners2010-09-13 21:49
Somali pirates, whose money-box has grown empty, have got at Georgians. On September 8, the bandits seized another tanker, Oilb G, flying the flag of Malta. The crew included fifteen citizens of Georgia and three Turkish nationals. Georgian government has already appealed to international organizations and Turkey, pleading them to assist in liberating the prisoners. Besides, the captured mariners' relatives were unaware that the sailors are held hostages.
The captured Georgian mariners are nothing new for Georgian diplomats. In 2008, the pirates already seized two vessels, Genius and Auction, flying the flag of Nigeria and Panama, respectively. That time, agreements were reached as to delivering a ransom and the mariners were freed after the two-month imprisonment.
Now the situation is different. According to some data, the tanker was captured inside the corridor recommended to civil vessels for traveling in the waters of the currently dangerous Gulf of Aden.
All the questions should be put to Georgian MFA which, as it turns out, does not possess any information on the personalities of the mariners aboard the ship. Instead, it is known exactly who does not possess such information - it is Deputy Head of the foreign administration Nino Kalandadze who made no scruple to declare her unawareness. As she reported, the details of the incident are being found out and Georgia is cooperating with the Turkish side so as to jointly free the sailors. Thus, while Georgia MFA is "actively" working on the fact, the journalists who covered the event had to inform the sailors' families on their own.
The situation is aggravated by the fact that there is no Georgian embassy in Somali, so the young Ms. Kalandadze gets all the news from other countries' diplomatic administrations. Yet, let us not criticize the poor woman. For the sake of justice, it should be noted that the Georgian diplomats' helplessness is explained not by the politicians' lack of professionalism but by the fact that Georgia is a very small country that has got no opportunity to act in a military way and organize a special operation using the fleet and landing troops to free the captured citizens. It looks like those who could help the imprisoned fellow countrymen are presently in Afghanistan, trying to please North-Atlantic Alliance. Well, the whole point lies in the priority here.
Expert of Russian Institute of Strategic Research Adjar Kurtov made the following comments upon the incident: