The United States calls on Russia to release the Ukrainian sailors and not use them in their political game, reads the statement of the US Embassy in Ukraine published on Facebook.
“Russia must release Ukraine’s sailors immediately, not use them as pawns in their political game,” the statement reads.
It is noted that for over 50 days, Russia has unjustly detained Ukrainian sailors who were exercising Ukraine’s freedom of navigation in UKraine's territorial waters. The United States is deeply concerned about their health and rights.
On Tuesday, Moscow's Lefortovo District Court began to consider in a close session the case of 24 Ukrainian sailors detained by Russia. The court made a decision to extend the detention term for 12 captive Ukrainian sailors until April 24.
Before the hearing, the court considered a number of petitions submitted by the defense. The Ukrainian sailors were divided into groups of four people and three judges were involved.
24 Ukrainian sailors were captured by Russian border guards on November 25, 2018. The Crimea's court arrested them until January 24, after which the Russian Federation transferred the Ukrainians to Moscow.