Interview with Ilya Arkhipov

Ilya Arkhipov, a journalist from Russian Newsweek, gave Russia Today his opinion on the situation with the six Russian people who have recently been kidnapped in Nigeria. 

Russia Today: Now you have recently returned from Nigeria. Is kidnapping fairly common there?

Ilya Arkhipov: Yes, during the last two years around 200 foreigners were kidnapped there. And since the beginning of this year, over 100 foreigners have been kidnapped. At the moment there are over 30 people who are still in hands of militants. At the same time those who were kidnapped from RUSAL factory, were kidnapped, as it was thought before, in more or less safe area. Last kidnapping happened there in November last year. So far, one of the versions is that militants just want to show that there are no safe areas in Niger Delta.  

RT:  What efforts are being made in Nigeria to free the hostages?

I.A.: Actually, negotiations normally take two to three weeks, sometimes even a month. And usually a ransom is paid. Officially it is always rejected by authorities and militants, but the common practice is that ransom is paid. 

RT:  There does not seem to have been any ransom demand in this case. Is that unusual and what do you think it means?

I.A.: According to my sources, there has been a ransom demand and there is no political agenda behind taking the hostages, those people who work for Russian aluminium company.  And we cannot tell how much they want