Four Ukrainian citizens, members of the crew of the tanker Captain Khayyam, which was detained in the territorial waters of Libya on February 13, 2016, return to Ukraine. Sailors Yevhen Morar, Volodymyr Tostohan, Oleh Voynerovsky and Pavlo Chaika are already on their way home. This is reported on the website of the President's Office.
In December 2017, a Libyan court sentenced four Ukrainians and other crew members of the tanker Captain Khayyam to five years in prison.
As two Ukrainian sailors have health problems, representatives of Ukraine have repeatedly raised the issue of their release for humanitarian reasons in negotiations with the Libyan party.
President Volodymyr Zelensky praised the release of Ukrainian citizens and noted that they would finally be able to celebrate Christmas with their relatives and friends.
The Head of State also thanked Ukrainian diplomats, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other agencies for their work, which made it possible for Ukrainians to return home.
"The Ukrainian state does not forget and does not leave its citizens in trouble. And we do everything possible, we use all channels so that Ukrainians who want to return home can do it. Because the state exists for the citizen, to protect his rights and freedoms. And citizens defend our country. That's exactly how it should be," the President said.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba keeps the process of the sailors’ return under personal control.
"President Volodymyr Zelensky always insists on following one important and unshakable principle called “Ukraine does not leave its people”. This is a formula of respect for our state and citizens. Every time this principle is confirmed in practice, I am proud of Ukraine. And for citizens who return, everything is easier. They will just finally be able to hug their loved ones," he said.