KIEV, February 12. /TASS/. Ukraine cannot demand that Russia extradite captain of the Nord fishing vessel Vladimir Gorbenko who is currently in Crimea, Ukrainian Deputy Prosecutor General Yevgeny Yenin told the UNN news agency.
"We just can’t ask Russia to extradite anyone from Crimea because they will take it as if we recognize Crimea as part of Russia," he said. "We have already encountered this problem before and it still remains unsolved," Yenin added.
According to earlier reports, the ship’s captain, who was under investigation in Ukraine, has returned to Crimea. A week ago, Ukraine’s Interior Ministry issued a nationwide alert for Gorbenko who had broken contact with his Ukrainian lawyers on January 26.
In March 2018, Ukraine’s State Border Service detained a fishing vessel flying the Russian flag in the Sea of Azov, whose crew includes ten Russian nationals. The vessel’s captain was charged under the Ukrainian Criminal Code’s article on "violating the entry and exit rules to Ukraine’s occupied territory" and illegal fishing. On April 10, the Kherson City Court released Gorbenko on bail, while other Russian sailors were fined.
Two of the crew members managed to leave Ukraine but the other seven were prevented from leaving the country with Russian passports as Kiev considers Crimean residents to be Ukrainian citizens. However, on October 30, Kiev handed the sailors over to Russia in exchange for seven Ukrainian crew members from the YaMK-0041 and YaOD-2105 ships, detained for illegal fishing off Crimea’s coast.