As-Shark al-Ausat quoted anonymous sources in Somalia as saying the pirates "demand that the ransom must be paid in the next two days," and that talks on the release of the hostages have entered their final stage.
The Faina, carrying at least 33 tanks and other heavy weaponry, was seized by Somali pirates on September 25. The pirates are also holding hostage 17 Ukrainian nationals, two Russians, and one Lithuanian.
The Russian captain of the Faina died of a heart attack after the vessel was seized. The pirates holding the ship earlier demanded an $8 million ransom, and threatened to kill the hostages if a military operation is launched against them.
Pirates are increasingly active in the waters off Somalia, which has no effective government and no navy to guard its coastline. Pirates have seized around 30 ships so far this year off the coast of the east African nation.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.