Russia has offered to coordinate the movements of its vessels hunting Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden with NATO, diplomatic sources said Wednesday.

The offer was made at a meeting of ambassadors at a NATO-Russia council meeting, representatives of the two sides said. NATO spokesman James Appathurai said the alliance was considering the Russian offer.

Russia''s ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, Dmitry Rogozin, said that his country would not place its ships under NATO command but declared "we need coordination".

He highlighted how Russia was already working with a European Union military mission with ships and planes patrolling the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean to ward off pirate attacks.

NATO made its patrols in the region permanent in June.

Only one Russian ship is believed to be patrolling in the region now but Rogozin said his offer was "judged interesting" by NATO ambassadors at the meeting.

The NATO spokesman said that Rogozin proposed "detailed discussion on how we could step up cooperation between Russian ships and others off the coast of the Gulf of Aden, including coordinated patrols, as well as liaison between the ships and the possibility of training on the control of piracy."