Director of the Department of the Consular Service of Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Serhiy Pohoreltsev has said the number of Ukrainian sailors who are detained and remanded in custody in other countries for illegal activities is growing, namely there are 186 people in Greece and over 150 in Italy.

"The number of our sailors who are arrested, detained or were sentenced is very high. It is more than 150 people in Italy, and 186 people in Greece. There are also detainees in other countries, not in such a large number," he told journalists, according to an UNIAN correspondent.

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According to the diplomat, recently there have been many cases when Ukrainian sailors are captured by pirates, or when they are used by criminal groups to smuggle illegal migrants and goods.

In his words, two Ukrainians are now in captivity of pirates in Somalia. In this regard, the Foreign Ministry is looking for new solutions in their work. "First of all, we believe that we must act proactively," Pohoreltsev said.

In particular, a memorandum was signed with the trade unions of sea transport workers of Ukraine and there is an active cooperation with this organization. "The result of this cooperation was the release of 64 seamen, who are citizens of Ukraine, only last year alone," he said.

Pohoreltsev noted the Foreign Ministry, together with various organizations, is implementing projects to prevent the involvement of Ukrainian sailors in illegal activities and to strengthen their protection, rights and interests.