The crew of the Nord ship, which was detained by Ukrainian border guards on March 25 in the Sea of Azov, tried to leave the territory of Ukraine through the Hoptivka automobile border checkpoint in the Kharkiv region, the press service of the State Border Service of Ukraine reported. Representatives of the General Consulate of the Russian Federation tried to smuggle the members of the crew out of Ukraine using their diplomatic immunity.
On April 7, at about 9PM, two Volkswagen cars with Russian diplomatic plates arrived at the Hoptivka checkpoint with the intention to leave Ukraine. During border control, the passengers presented certificates for return to the Russian Federation instead of the usual passport documents.
After checking, the Ukrainian border control found that the owners of the documents were members of the crew of the Nord vessel, detained in the Sea of Azov. Because the authorities consider them citizens of Ukraine, the documents that they presented to passport control do not give the right to cross the border.
Reports were filed against the individuals regarding the attempt to violate the state border in accordance with Part 1 of section 204-1 of the Code of Administrative Offenses. The crew were not allowed through the state border and thereafter they were returned to Ukraine.
Later, the Speaker of the State Border Service, Oleh Slobodyan posted a video on Facebook of the conversations of border guards with the Russian diplomats.