Pirates have attacked the Curacao Trader vessel in the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of Nigeria and kidnapped 13 crew members, including six Ukrainian nationals, Head of the Crisis Management Center at the Consular Services Department of Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Maksym Kovalenko told UNIAN.

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"According to updated information, there are six Ukrainian citizens among 13 crew members, who were kidnapped. The rest are Russians," he said on July 18.

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Kovalenko says the identities of the Ukrainian sailors have been established.

"An operational headquarters is being created by the shipowner and operator of the vessel; they will probably hire a special company that will be engaged in negotiations [with pirates]," he added.

As UNIAN reported, Kovalenko earlier said that 13 out of 19 crew members had been kidnapped as a result of a pirate attack on the Curacao Trader vessel off the coast of Nigeria (200 miles southwest), the rest crew members had barricaded.

The Ukrainian Embassies in Great Britain, Nigeria and Greece have established contact with the owner and operator of the vessel.