A convoy of Ukrainian sailors / REUTERS

Metropolitan of Odessa and Izmail Agafangel asked the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill to appeal to the Russian authorities to facilitate the release of detained Ukrainian sailors and their return to Ukraine.

This is stated in the text of the letter of 3 December, available for free on the website of the Odessa diocese of UPTS.

“In the waters of the Black sea November 25, the incident occurred, the legal assessment of which is beyond the Church’s competence and is the prerogative of political and legal institutions. As a result, 24 sailors, including residents of Odessa and Odessa region have become hostages of the political situation, was detained by the border service of the Russian Federation”, – reported in the document.

Metropolitan notes the special role the Church can play a in the return of the Ukrainian sailors.

“At the moment, only the Orthodox Church may be the only link, located above the opposition, whose authoritative voice can be heard on both sides of the conflict”, – is spoken in the letter of the Odessa Metropolitan area.