Twenty-three Ukrainian specialists who worked at Libyan oil-industry facilities and who have been detained have been provided with food and water, and there is no threat to their lives or health, Director of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry's Information Policy Department Oleh Voloshyn has said.

"There's no threat to the lives and the health of the Ukrainians," he said at a briefing in Kyiv on Monday, Interfax-Ukraine reported.

"We have established contact with these citizens, and the embassy is communicating with them. They have currently been provided with water and food, and we're making every effort to ensure that their rights are protected," Voloshyn said.

He said that there could be no question about them facing any threat of physical violence.

"We sent a note to the Libyan Foreign Ministry with the demand [that they] protect the rights and legal interests of our citizens," he said.

Voloshyn said that due to the fact that military operations have just ended in the Libyan capital, the new Libyan authorities are more suspicious of all foreigners who stay Tripoli and are detaining foreign citizens from a range of states.

He said that the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry had repeatedly advised citizens of Ukraine to refrain from traveling to Libya.

"We tried to evacuate in several stages those who stayed there when the conflict began, and several hundred Ukrainian citizens left Libya," he said.

Voloshyn noted that Ukrainian diplomats would do their utmost to ensure the speedy release of the Ukrainians.

"The safety and health of citizens living in Libya have been and remain a priority in the activities of the Ukrainian state and the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry in view of the conflict that is occurring in Libya," he said.


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