Friday, August 07, 2009
Friday, 07 August 2009
Greek deputy Foreign Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis met earlier today with the Ukranian Ambassador, Mr. Valeriy Tsybukh, during which meeting, Tsybuhkh mentioned the captured ship "Ariana" -- under Maltese flag and of Greek interests -- as well as the detention of 24 Ukranian sailors by Somali pirates since February 5, 2009.
For his part, Mr. Varvitsiotis particularly stressed the humanitarian aspect of the issue and the bad circumstances, under which the captured ship's crew is being held, and noted that Greece -- as the most significant shipping power within the EU -- has a raised awareness as to the need for unhindered shipping across the world and the personal safety of the sailors. The Foreign Ministry is already in constant contact with the managing company and it is being informed as to the moves made for the liberation of the ship and its crew.
With regard to the continuing detention of the "Astro Saturn" tanker's two Greek sailors in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela, the Greek charge d'affaires, Ms. Petropoulou (as head of a mission from Greece including Messrs. G. Boubopoulos, director of the Marine Recruitment department of the Ministry of Mercantile Marine, G. Vlahos, president of the Masters and Mates Union of the Greek Merchant Marine and I. Rizeakos, director of the Greek Marine's scholarship fund Estia Naftikon), met with the Greek sailors in order to attend the opening of the proceedings, which were adjourned once again.
The Greek authorities -- following the letter dated April 6 sent by Deputy Foreign Minister Varvitsiotis to his Venezuelan counterpart, Mr. Alejandro Fleming Cabrera -- maintain efforts to improve detention conditions for the two sailors. Despite the fact that they were recently transferred by the city's police department to the port authority facilities, where their detention conditions were considerably improved, there are ongoing efforts for them to be transferred to an apartment under restraining orders imposed by the court.