SIMFEROPOL, February 11. /TASS/. Captain of Russia’s arrested Nord fishing vessel Vladimir Gorbenko, who was under investigation in Ukraine, has returned to Crimea, the Komsomolskaya Pravda Crimea newspaper reported, citing the captain.
"There were no restrictions preventing me from going back home. I legally crossed the border using my Russian passport. I arrived in Kerch in the evening, when everybody was at home and they were all happy to see me. I just climbed the stairs and rang the doorbell. My daughters and wife were stunned, naturally," Gorbenko told the paper.
A week ago, Ukraine’s Interior Ministry issued a nationwide alert for Vladimir Gorbenko who had broken contact with his Ukrainian lawyers on January 26.
Nord vessel issue
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.