October 28, 2008
Progress in negotiations to free Faina hostages
Ukrainian national radio reports that the owner of the hijacked vessel Faina says there has been "certain progress" in talks on the vessel's release
"The shipowner informed the pirates that an acceptable ransom is available, and now it is necessary to discuss in detail the terms and machinery for its transfer, release of the crew and the vessel," says Ukraine radio.
"Simultaneously," says the report, "the shipowner is working to recruit a new crew and a repair team who would take the Faina to its destination point, and the current crew will be taken home by air."
The pirates refused to negotiate on food deliveries. They are taking water and food to the ship on their own. There is a certain reserve of food and drinking water aboard, says Ukraine radio.
An earlier report from the UKRINFORM state owned news agency quoted Foreign Ministry Speaker Vasyl Kyrylych as saying stocks of foodstuffs, fuel and water are decreasing on the Faina.
It quoted Mr. Kyrylych as saying negotiations were being carried out by a "British company having experience of negotiations with pirates" on behalf of the shipowners.
The Belize-flagged cargo ship owned and operated by Kaalbye Shipping, Ukraine, was seized by pirates Sept. 25 and forced to proceed to anchorage off the Somali Coast. The ship is carrying a cargo of Ukrainian T-72 tanks and related military equipment. It has been under continued surveillance by ships of the U.S. Fifth Fleet, reportedly recently joined by a Russian frigate.