02:49 GMT +322 September 2019
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    A Russian-flagged oil tanker is seen in Tripoli Naval Base after coast guard of the central region guards captured it

    Moscow Demands Release of Russian Oil Tanker Captured Off Libyan Coast

    © REUTERS / Hani Amara
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    Late on Wednesday, it was reported that forces loyal to the Tripoli-based Libyan government, which is not recognized internationally, had detained 11 Russian crew members from the Mekhanik Chebotarev oil tanker, when it was allegedly en route to the northwestern Libyan port of Zuwarah.

    MOSCOW m(Sputnik) — Moscow has called for the immediate release of the Russian oil tanker captured off the Libyan coast, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday.

    "We consider the capture of the Russian vessel and its crew illegal and demand [their] immediate and unconditional release from the authorities in Tripoli," Zakharova said.

    The foreign ministry has advised Russian tourist companies and citizens to refrain from visiting Libya until the situation in the country has stabilized.

    Earlier on Thursday, a Libyan Navy spokesman said prosecutors were going to interrogate the detained crew members.

    Russia’s Investigative Committee has set up a task force to look into the reports on the tanker's detention.

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    tanker, Maria Zakharova, Libya, Russia
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