The Russian captain abducted from his ship in Cameroon was allowed by his captors to get in touch with the vessel's owner on Thursday, the Russian Sailors Trade Union said.
The North Spirit vessel, flying the flag of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and owned by Greece's Balthellas Chartering S.A., was attacked by pirates on May 16 while anchored in Cameroon's largest port of Douala.
The attackers, suspected to be from the militant Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, took captain Boris Tersintsev and chief engineering officer Igor Shumik hostage and left the ship.
Sailors' union deputy head Yury Sukhorukov said the kidnappers had allowed the North Spirit's captain to telephone the ship's owner.
"He [Tersintsev] said they had been taken to Nigeria; he did not say what group it was," Sukhorukov said.
He said both men were alive and unharmed, and had provided contacts so the company that owns the vessel can try to reach the pirates to discuss their demands, which are as yet unknown.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko earlier in the day quoted Cameroonian law enforcement agencies as saying "militants from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta may have been involved in the abduction of the Russian sailors."
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, one of the largest militant groups in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, has been linked to attacks on foreign-owned companies in the oil-rich but impoverished region.
MOSCOW, May 20 (RIA Novosti)