Faina crew to return in Kyiv Friday morning

15:55, 12 February 2009
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Their family members will meet them in airport

Crewmembers of the Faina ship are expected to return to Ukraine by plane on February 13 in the morning, Ukrainian president’s press secretary Irina Vannikova said on Thursday, Itar-Tass reported. According to her, the transportation of the seamen’s family members to Kyiv has been organised for meeting them. In Kyiv the families of the seamen will have an opportunity to welcome the Faina crew right after their disembarkation from the plane. The seamen and their relatives will be provided with transport for the return from Kyiv to their residence places, mainly Odessa, Vannikova said.

The Faina vessel, released by Somali pirates after a $3 million ransom was paid for it, anchored off the Kenyan Mombassa port on Thursday. It had been seized by Somali pirates on September 25, 2008 in neutral waters closer to Kenya. The vessel was flying the Belize flag en route to Kenya carrying military equipment, in particular, about 30 tanks T-72 and spare parts for armoured vehicles. The ship’s crew comprised 17 Ukrainian citizens, two Russians and a Latvian. The vessel’s captain, Russian citizen Vladimir Kolobkov, died of a hear attack soon after the vessel was hijacked.

On February 4, the Israeli owner of the Faina paid 3.2 million US dollars for the ship’s release and by the evening on February 5 the last group of pirates left the freighter.


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