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Ukraine, Russia exchange detained sailors from Nord and YAMK-0041 vessels

Seven Ukrainians and seven Russians returned to their home countries; Nord's captain Volodymyr Horbenko remains in Ukraine, as he is a convict in the criminal case
17:19, 30 October 2018

State Border Guard of Ukraine

An exchange took place on October 30, as fourteen sailors from Ukraine and Russia returned home after detention - in Russia and Ukraine, respectively. Seven Russian sailors from Nord vessel were exchanged on seven crew members of Ukraine's YAMK-0041 ship. Tatyana Moskalkova, the Russian ombudswoman said this as quoted by the media.

'Today, seven Russian sailors from Nord vessel are exchanged on seven Ukrainian sailors from YAMK-0041 ship; our sailors are in Crimea already', Moskalkova's press office said. 

The spokesman specified that Nord's captain Volodymyr Horbenko remains in Ukraine, as he is a convict in the criminal case.

The Ukrainian side has not yet commented on the information.

It is found that the captain of the Nord vessel deliberately violated the order of entry and exit the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine, repeatedly was leaving the closed Kerch seaport on his vessel to the territory of temporarily occupied Crimea with the intention to harm the interest of Ukraine, in particular doing the illegal fishing.

The circumstances of committing offenses are proved by collected evidence during the pre-trial investigation, in particular, the conclusion of the expertise, the witness testimony etc.

Related: Russian Security Service accompanies two Ukrainian vessels in Crimean area

Reportedly, the Ukrainian border guards arrested fishing vessel-violator under the Russian flag in the Sea of Azov on March 25.

The Nord vessel was stopped in 15 miles from the Obytichna sandspit. The inspection defined that the vessel was registered in the temporarily occupied Crimea. Besides, the members of the crew violated the order of the exit from the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine. All of them had the so-called Russian passports, issued in Kerch. Later, the court arrested the arrested vessel. Ukrainian border guards detained Volodymyr Gorbenko on April 4.

Related: Russian vessel arrested in Denmark

Also, the captain of the vessel was detained but later was released on bail. The other members of the crew tried to leave the territory of Ukraine with the help of representatives of diplomatic institutions of the Russian Federation and get to occupied Crimea. Ukrainian border police didn’t let them through because the crew didn’t have legal documents with them, which would verify their identity.

Related: 16 vessels illegally enter Crimea in September

Although, two crew members of the Nord vessel arrived in Crimea.

Court has returned the crew of Nord vessel Russian passports on June 19. Yet the lawyer of the sailors noted that his defendants can’t leave Ukraine because there is no final court decision on the case. The same day, the court refused to extend the ban on the captain of the vessel to travel to Crimea.

Related: Ukrainian Prosecutor’s office refers case against captain of Russian Nord vessel to court

Related: Court closes case against sailors of Nord vessel

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