The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry confirmed that Somali pirates had captured a freighter with 24 Ukrainian citizens, Itar-Tass learnt on Sunday at the press service of the Ukrainian ministry, Itar-Tass reported.

Referring to information of the Ukraine’s embassy in Greece, the press service reported that on the night of May 1, Somali pirates captured the allegedly British-owned ship Ariana, which sailed out on high seas under the flag of Malta. The operator company confirmed to the embassy that the ship’s crew includes 24 seamen, all of them Ukrainian citizens.

The ministry instructed the Ukrainian embassies in Greece, Great Britain and Kenya to take urgent measures to establish a constant contact with the ship owner, the operator company and appropriate bodies of host countries for the earliest elucidation of circumstances concerning the capture and a possible release of the Ukrainian crew.

According to the Foreign Ministry, it now tries to find out the type of the cargo and the name of a Greek operator company.

This information is being checked by the Ukrainian Foreign Office.

Ukrainian diplomatic establishments also received an instruction to report on daily progress in talks with pirates, the moral, psychological and physical state of crewmembers. According to a report by a representative of the operator company, the captured ship has adequate supplies of foodstuffs and fuel.

The consular department of the Ukrainian ministry takes measures to establish contacts with the seamen’s relatives. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry’s office in Odessa was instructed to maintain constant communications with a company, employing seamen, as well as with relatives of the crewmembers.

This case is under a special control of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry. Pirates captured the previous Ukrainian ship the Faina on September 25 last year off the Somali coast. Military equipment and ammunition were then aboard the vessel that pirates released for a ransom on February 4 this year.

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