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Ferry brings back to Crimea long-haul drivers from Turkey

December 12, 2015, 9:21 UTC+3 SEVASTOPOL

The ferry carries 15 trucks with Russian drivers

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SEVASTOPOL, December 12. /TASS/. The Varyag ferry with Russian long-haul drivers from Turkey’s Zonguldak port arrived in Sevastopol on Saturday morning, TASS reports from the site.

The ferry carries 15 trucks with Russian drivers.

Head of the Crimean Sea Agency Stanislav Gvozdilov told TASS the voyage from Turkey was without incidents, now the ferry will undergo border and customs formalities.

Fifteen Crimean long-haul drivers got stranded in Turkey, Sergei Menyailo, the governor of the federal city of Sevastopol, told journalists earlier on Tuesday.

"We have got in touch with the driver," he said. "The ferry is going to collect all of them."

A ferry bound for Zonguldak port (Turkey) left Sevastopol, Crimea, on December 2 to take onboard all Russian long-haul drivers who were still staying in Turkey.

Initially, the ferry was supposed to leave Sevastopol on November 30. The delay was caused by customs formalities. "The customs was the main problem. The ferry had brought Turkish goods and trailers to Crimea before everything started. We had to clear the trailers and send them back to Turkey. The situation is symmetrical: the Turks are here while our drivers are there (in Turkey). The customs worked in compliance with the existing laws," Menyailo explained.

The Kryminform news agency said in previous reports that a group of long-haul drivers from Crimea could not leave Turkey because all ferry trips between Sevastopol and Zonguldak had been cancelled.

Sergei Menyailo, the governor of Sevastopol, said on Tuesday that no one would be able to isolate Crimea.

"There will be no isolation of Crimea. We will not let that happen," the governor’s press secretary Kirill Moskalenko quoted his boss as saying.

On September 20, the deputies of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament), Mustafa Dzhemilev and Refat Chubarov, as well as Lenur Islyamov, Crimea’s former vice-premier and the owner of the ATR TV channel, imposed a food blockade on the peninsula. Activists of the Mejilis of Crimean Tatars, which is not registered in Russia, and members of the Right Sector extremist movement, which is banned in Russia, are stopping trucks with Ukrainian food at the border with Crimea.

In his latest statement, Lenur Islyamov promised to block the Kerch Strait.

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