Poroshenko signs letter to UN Secretary-General with demand to release Ukrainian sailors

On February 20, the Ukrainian president would participate in the UN General Assembly
12:18, 19 February 2019

Ukraine's Presidental Administration

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has signed the letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres with the demand to condemn the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine and release Ukrainian hostages. The proper letter was passed to the president during the meeting with the representatives of the public and cultural figures on the release of the Ukrainian sailors as 112 Ukraine reported.

Poroshenko has signed the letter and promised to pass it to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on February 20.

“I promise you that tomorrow during the speech and during the meeting with the secretary-general, I will pass these signed letters and we will offer particular steps that we are expected from the UN and the Secretary-General to return our guys home. Their release from prison is fundamentally important for us,” the president stated.

Related: 28 EU member states join “Azov package” of anti-Russian sanctions, - Poroshenko

It is known that the president will participate in the UN General Assembly on February 20. The debates on the situation in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine will take place there.

The president reminded that there was no meeting at the international level, where he did not urge the world leaders to provide the fulfillment of the demands of the Ukrainians: “The first demand is to promptly return our boys back home. The second demand is to return Ukrainian military boats. The third demand is to provide the freedom of navigation in Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov. We will not allow to make the Russian lake out of our Sea of Azov. It is very important for us to state that the world shows this solidarity,” Poroshenko added.

On November 25, the coast guard ships of the Russian Navy attacked the ships of the Ukrainian Navy, which have been carrying out a scheduled transition from Odesa port to Mariupol port in the Sea of Azov. Ukrainian ships were rejected passage via the Kerch Strait, Russian coast guards opened aimed fire on them.

Related: Draft report on Azov Crisis to be considered in PACE

All 24 sailors on board were captured and delivered to Moscow – 21 of them were delivered to Lefortovo remand center, another - to the hospital of Matrosskaya Tishina prison.

On December 3, the Russian prosecutors officially accused Ukrainian sailors with the 'illegal crossing of the state border' during the attack in the Kerch Strait.

Facing an extension of the sentence term, Ukrainian POWs detained in the Kerch Strait refused to testify in Lefortovo court. Sailors were distributed into six groups, four people in each. On January 15, 2019, Moscow's Lefortovo district court decided to keep 20 Ukrainian sailors in remand until April 24. On January 16, the court extended the detention term for another 4 sailors.

Related: Ukraine’s Foreign Minister to discuss Donbas, release of Ukrainian POWs, Azov Crisis in Davos

 As we reported, lawyer Nikolai Polozov, who deals with the defense of Ukrainian prisoners of war, confirmed that three Ukrainian sailors wounded in the Russian Navy attack on Ukrainian ships were brought from Matrosskaya Tishina to Lefortovo prison in Moscow. He also added that it happened on Monday, January 28.


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