MV Ruen rescue: Bulgarian President thanks his Indian counterpart Droupadi Murmu

New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) Bulgarian President Rumen Radev expressed his gratitude to President Doupadi Murmu in a phone call on Wednesday after the Indian Navy’s successful rescue operation on the hijacked Bulgarian ship, MV Ruen.

“President Droupadi Murmu received a telephone call from President Rumen Radev of Bulgaria, who conveyed his gratitude for Indian Navy’s rescue of the hijacked Bulgarian Vessel MV Ruen and its crew, including 7 Bulgarian nationals,” a post on Rashtrapati Bhavan’s X handle said.

“The two leaders agreed to further strengthen the India-Bulgaria partnership based on shared values and interests,” the post added.

Indian Navy’s INS Kolkata on Saturday successfully rescued 17 crew members from ex-MV Ruen, and coerced all 35 Somali pirates to surrender in a 40-hour-long operation.

The merchant vessel with Bulgarians, Myanmarese and one Angolan citizen onboard was hijacked in December, 2023.

President Radev also expressed his “sincere gratitude” to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who said that India was committed to protecting freedom of navigation and combating piracy and terrorism in the Indian Ocean region.

For the operation, the Indian Navy said it deployed its P-8I maritime patrol aircraft, frontline ships INS Kolkata and INS Subhadra, and high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicle.

The vessel was also sanitised for the presence of illegal arms, ammunition and contraband.

Officials said that MV Ruen, which was reported to have sailed out as a pirate ship for conducting acts of piracy on the high seas, was intercepted by an Indian Navy warship on Friday.

The vessel opened fire on the warship, which took action as per international law, in self-defence and to counter piracy, with minimal force necessary to neutralise the pirates’ threat to shipping and seafarers, an Indian Navy statement said.

The pirates onboard the ex-MV Ruen were called upon to surrender and release the vessel and any civilians they were holding against their will.



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