Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Nigerian counterpart, Olu Adeniji, were expected on Monday to discuss the fate of 12 Russian sailors who were arrested in the African country and charged with oil smuggling, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.
The Russians were crewmen on the Greek-owned MT African Pride, which the Nigerian navy seized in October 2003 for allegedly attempting to smuggle 11,300 metric tons (12,430 tons) of crude oil out of Nigeria.
The sailors have pleaded innocent. If convicted, they face possible life sentences in a Nigerian prison.
Satellite images of the naval base in Vilyuchinsk, Kamchatka, confirm that Russian nuclear submarines have left the base in turn