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Ukraine arrests Russian tanker it stopped & searched last week

Ukraine arrests Russian tanker it stopped & searched last week
Kiev has sanctioned the arrest of a Russian-flagged tanker that had already been arrested by Ukraine’s Security Service last week, for allegedly blocking its ships in the Kerch Strait back in 2018.

Ukrainian judges have approved seizing the ‘Nika Spirit’ (also known as the ‘Neyma’), as well as its logbooks and other documents, Anatoly Matios, Ukraine’s chief military prosecutor, announced in a Facebook post.

Also on rt.com ‘An act of piracy’: Moscow slams seizure of its tanker, says Ukraine should think of ‘ramifications’

The tanker, registered at the Russian port of Taganrog, was detained by Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) last Thursday after she entered Ukraine’s southwestern Izmail port for repair. Kiev maintains the vessel had played an active role in the 2018 standoff in the Kerch Strait, allegedly blocking the passage of several Ukrainian Navy ships through the Black Sea’s Kerch Strait and into the Russian Sea of Azov last November.

Moscow called the tanker’s seizure an “act of piracy” that could undermine efforts at fixing bilateral ties. However, Russia’s and Ukraine’s human rights commissioners managed to broker the release of the Nika Spirit’s crew shortly after news of the arrest broke. All sailors were interviewed by the SBU, but then promptly set free and flown to Russia via neighboring Moldova.

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