Libya releases three Russia merchant marine officers

MOSCOW,  Three Russian merchant marine officers detained in Libya since September 2015 were released, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced Tuesday.

Three officers of the Russian ship Mekhanik Chebotarev, held in Libya since September 2015, were released Monday. Photo courtesy of the Russian embassy in Malta

Seven crewmen of the oil tanker Mekhanik Chebotarev were released earlier, but the three officers — Andrei Krynin, Stanislav Sirotkin and Valery Savitsky – left for Russia after a delegation led by Adam Delimkhanov, cousin of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, secured their release.

The Russian ship was seized off the Libyan coast near the city of Zuwara, where it was allegedly being loaded by smaller vessels with smuggled fuel, Sadiq Al-Sour, head of the Libyan Public Prosecutor’s Office, said.A statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry noted Libya is still holding three Russian citizens from the crew of the tanker ship Temeteron, which was seized in June 2016. It noted the “lack of central control over several regions” of Libya by the government, and advised Russian citizens to “refrain from visiting Libya for security reasons until the situation is normalized.”

By Ed Adamczyk