Western news agencies reported May 6 that unknown gunmen had kidnapped Saturday night a Russian woman who worked for a local oil company. The woman was kidnapped in Nigeria's main oil city of Port Harcourt.
"This is preliminary information, of course. She is a citizen of Belarus. Her name is Irina," Viktor Goncharov said over the phone.
The Belarusian Foreign Ministry confirmed Sunday that a Belarusian national had been kidnapped in Nigeria.
"We have just received a notice from the Belarusian embassy in Great Britain through diplomatic channels that a citizen of Belarus has been kidnapped in Nigeria," the ministry's spokesman said.
Goncharov also said that the Russian embassy in Nigeria will deal with the release of the kidnapped woman because Belarus has no diplomatic mission in that African country.
"We'll have to deal with this case. The Belarusian Foreign Ministry will apparently delegate the right to deal with her release to us," Goncharov said.