Two Russian sailors of a merchant ship captured off Cameroon in May and transferred to Nigeria have been released for a ransom, the Russian Union of Seafarers said on Sunday.
The Greece-owned 'North Spirit' vessel under the flag of St. Vincent and the Grenadines with a Russian-Ukrainian crew was attacked on May 16 while anchored in Cameroon's largest port of Douala. Douala is the commercial capital of Cameroon.
The sailors' union declined to specify the amount of the ransom.
It was earlier reported that Nigerian militants had demanded a USD 1.5 million ransom for the release of the the Russian captain and chief engineer, RIA Novosti reported.
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.
The news about the release of Russian sailors coincided with President Dmitry Medvedev's announcement that Moscow will actively participate in the anti-piracy operations off the African coast and send its warships for patrolling the piracy prone shipping channels.