Ukraine demands to release sailors during Minsk talks

Source : 112 Ukraine

Ukraine’s representative emphasize 24 Ukrainian sailors captured by Russia in Kerch Strait are the prisoners of war
20:53, 4 December 2018

Iryna Gerashchenko
The Verkhovna Rada

During the session of the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) in Minsk, the Ukrainian side demanded to immediately release 24 Ukrainian sailors captured by Russia in Kerch Strait without any pre-requirements and exchanges as they are the prisoners of war. Iryna Gerashchenko, the representative of Ukraine at TCG, reported it on Facebook.

“Ukraine demands the immediate release of 24 prisoners of war, sailors, who are kept in Russia without any pre-requirements. They are subject to the action of Geneva conventions; the prisoners of war cannot be judged, and we demand their immediate release without the preconditions and any exchanges,” Gerashchenko said.

Related: More than 10 Russian officers to be notified about suspicion in attack at Ukrainian ships

As we reported earlier, the coast guard ships of the Russian Navy acted aggressively against 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.   

21 Ukrainian sailors have been delivered to Lefortovo remand center in Moscow, three others are in the hospital of Matrosskaya Tishina prison.

Related: Small vessels not allowed to enter Black Sea in Ukraine's Odesa region

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

Given the tough situation in the area of Kerch Strait in the Sea of Azov, President Petro Poroshenko supported the offer of Ukraine's national security and defense council; it stipulates that the Ukrainian Parliament should consider the option to impose the martial law in Ukraine.

Related: UN International Court to consider case of Kerch incident as episode of Russia's aggression against Ukraine

On November 28, the Uriadovy Kurier, the official outlet of the Ukrainian Cabinet, published the presidential decree No.392, which activates the decision of the National Security and Defense Council in Ukraine about the 30-days-long martial law in Ukraine. 

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