2 Feb 2018 14:35

Ukrainians freed in Libya had worked in oil and gas companies from 2011 - Ukraine's Foreign Ministry

KYIV. Feb 2 (Interfax) - The four Ukrainians freed after being held captive by illegal armed formations in Libya for many years had worked in oil and gas companies starting in 2011, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman, Mariana Betsa, said.

"They had worked for oil and gas companies starting in 2011. When the revolution occurred and bodies of state authority stopped functioning, they were captured by illegal armed formations," she told Interfax on Friday.

"After the news came about their detention, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry and the relevant authorities began taking all political and diplomatic measures to release the citizens being held and return them to Ukraine, but, of course, it was difficult to resolve that issue, given the security situation in Libya," Betsa said.

The four Ukrainians were freed as the result of joint efforts made by the Foreign Ministry and the Ukrainian Foreign Intelligence Service and returned to Ukraine on February 2, she said.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko hailed their return to Ukraine. "I am pleased with the return to our native land of four of our citizens after many years of captivity in Libya. I am grateful to diplomats and [Ukrainian] foreign intelligence for four more rescued Ukrainians!" Poroshenko wrote on his Facebook page on Friday, posting a photo of the four.