The Ministry of Defense of Russia informed that on April 8, the Russian side transferred the rescue vessel Sapphire to Ukraine free of charge and without any conditions. The Ukrainian authorities confirmed this.
General Mikhail Mizintsev, the head of the National Defense Management Center of Russia, said that the rescue ship Sapphire had been passed over to Ukraine free of charge and without any conditions in the transfer area (RR-2) coordinated with the International Maritime Rescue Service in advance.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure reported in the media that the Saphir had come under Ukrainian control. Kiev reported an agreement on the return of the ship in March.
The Russian military took control of the emergency rescue vessel Sapphire of the Ukrainian Navy near Odessa in early March and transferred it to Sevastopol. 19 Ukrainian civilian sailors from the rescue vessel Sapphire were captured while trying to take the Ukrainian military from the island of Zmeiny. According to the Kiev authorities, they were sent to Ukraine in exchange to 11 civilian sailors who were reportedly rescued from a ship that sank near Odessa.
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