Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has thanked Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for helping to evacuate Ukrainian sailors held in Libya since 2016.
The four sailors (Yevhen Morar, Volodymyr Tostohan, Oleh Voinerovsky, and Pavlo Chaika) were released this week and reached Ukraine on Friday, January 8, 2020.
“Glad to welcome our sailors, members of the Captain Khayyam tanker’s crew, at home after five years of detention in Libya! Ukraine never forgets and doesn’t leave its people in trouble,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter on January 8, 2021.
“Special thanks to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for helping to evacuate our citizens. Ukraine appreciates Turkey’s support,” the Ukrainian president added.
Crew members of the Captain Khayyam tanker were detained in the territorial waters of Libya on February 13, 2016.
In December 2017, a Libyan court sentenced four Ukrainians and other crew members of Captain Khayyam to five years in prison.
Among the crew members, there were citizens of Ukraine, Turkey, and Azerbaijan.