MOSCOW, March 24 /TASS/. The Russian embassy in Nigeria has not confirmed the death of a Russian sailor from the French owned Bourbon Liberty 251 vessel, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing on Thursday.
"The Russian embassy in Nigeria is not confirming reports, which have recently appeared in some foreign and Russian media outlets, that he allegedly died when the ship was attacked [by pirates]," Zakharova said.
"According to the information we have, a representative of a company that owns the ship talked to the Russian national by phone on March 20. The Russian embassy in Abuja is doing everything possible to seek the Russian sailor’s earliest release," the Russian diplomat went on to say.
Pirates seized the Bourbon Liberty 251 in the Gulf of Guinea in Nigeria’s territorial waters on February 23 this year. The French crew managed to send a distress call. Nigerian navy sailors set most of the crew free during a release operation. The pirates escaped with two hostages, including a citizen of Russia.