The Russian Foreign Ministry is carrying out actions to bring back seven Russian sailors detained in Libya and to retrieve the Russian dry cargo ship Merle, an official says.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that senior officials of the ministry are meeting with the Presidency Council and its head Fayez Sirraj, who promised to personally supervise the investigations.

"The arrested sailors were accused of attempting to ship scrap metal illegally by smuggling it with unknown persons according to the ministry's information," Zakharova added

A Libyan court extended on April 03 the detention of the crewmembers and the cargo ship for another month.

Russian diplomacy criticized the mishandling of the issue by authorities in Tripoli.

"Unfortunately the Government of National Accord has not provided official clarification on the reasons behind the detention of the cargo ship," she said.

However, Russian diplomats confirmed that they were able to have access to the detainees in order to help them communicate with their families and to look into their needs, clarifying that there are ongoing contacts with local authorities to provide them with practical information on the conditions of their detained citizens.

Libya's Coast Guard in Zawiya intercepted the Russian cargo ship Merle in Libyan waters on March 05 and transferred it later to the port of Tripoli. The ship is owned by the St. Petersburg-based MT Group Company.