The return was made possible as the result of negotiations between the EOI Vice-President Nina Karpachova and Commissioner of the Russian Federation for Human Rights Tatyana Moskalkova.

The long-awaited return home of seven Ukrainian fishermen of two vessels – «ЯМК-0041» (three fishermen) and «ЯОД-2105» (captain Alexander Lysenyuk and three fishermen) took place on 30th October 2018. At the same time, the seven fishermen of the vessel «Nord» returned to their families in the city of Kerch, the Crimea. The return took place at the checkpoint «Kalanchak – Armyansk». The fishermen of the three vessels could not hold back tears when they crossed the administrative border, because until the very last moment they did not believe that their return was possible and were extremely stressed. It was the return of breadwinners, whose families have  three or even four children.

The return of the fishermen was made possible as the result of difficult negotiations initiated by the European Ombudsman Institute (headquarters in Innsbruck, Austria) between the EOI Vice-President Nina Karpachova and the Commissioner of the Russian Federation for Human Rights Tatyana Moskalkova. The successful completion of this humanitarian mission was carried out with the assistance of the border and special services of Ukraine and Russia.

Nina Karpachova told that from the first minutes of the negotiations they spoke not about exchange of the detained fishermen, but about their returning home to their families. “It is important that we managed to overcome the mutual distrust between the parties and set them up for a constructive dialogue in order to ensure and protect human rights. We agreed on simultaneous actions at the border, which greatly accelerated the decision-making process for the return of fishermen. For me, the most touching and memorable moment in the return of fishermen was their mutual embrace in the neutral zone as of fellowmen”, – she said.

There are still undergoing negotiations on the return home of two captains Vladimir Gorbenko from the «Nord» vessel and Viktor Novitsky from «ЯМК-0041», who are under investigation and court in the criminal proceedings.

In the process of negotiations Nina Karpachova also raised the issue of the return of two Ukrainian fishermen of a small-sized vessel «ЯПЗ-0026», who were detained on September 10, 2018 in the Sivash Bay area and kept in the Simferopol detention center.

The EOI Secretary General Dr. Joseph Siegele expressed satisfaction that the Presidents of Ukraine and Russia supported the humanitarian action to bring fishermen home and reunite families. He thanked the EOI Vice-President Nina Karpachova for the successful implementation of the mission and her being an effective mediator and guarantor of trust for both parties of the negotiations. He wished her successful continuation of the mission.

Tatyana Moskalkova and Nina Karpachova agreed to continue joint efforts until all the detained and arrested fishermen returned home.