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Cablegate: Faina: Letter From Foreign Minister Ohryzko

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DE RUEHKV #0244 0360458
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 050458Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7212
INFO RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 0008
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS KYIV 000244


SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EWWT EINT PREL SO UP
SUBJECT: FAINA: LETTER FROM FOREIGN MINISTER OHRYZKO

(U) Sensitive but unclassified, please handle accordingly.
Not for internet distribution.

1. (SBU) Embassy was called in to the MFA Consular Department
February 4 to receive a letter to the Secretary from Foreign
Minister Ohryzko concerning the negotiations regarding the ship,
Faina, held for ransom by Somali pirates. Embassy has emailed a
scanned copy of the original to EUR/UMB. Begin informal Embassy
translation:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

February 3, 2009

Honorable Ms. Clinton,

I have the honor to address you asking for your assistance in an
urgent matter because the lives of 20 innocent people are in
danger.

The crew of the vessel Faina has been in the captivity of Somali
pirates for more than four months. The crew consists of 17 citizens
of Ukraine, two citizens of Russia and one citizen of Latvia.

According to the established international practice, the owner of
the vessel conducts the negotiations with the pirates about freeing
of the sailors and the vessel, based on his financial solvency and
keeping to the requirements of the Resolution of the UN Security
Council (1851) dated December 16, 2008, which prohibits the
excessive increase of ransom offered to the sea corsairs.

Lately, the above-mentioned complicated negotiations process has
been hindered by the active involvement into the process of Ms.
Michele Lynn Golden-Ballarin, a U.S. citizen, DOB 08/31/1955,
resident of Merhem, VA, an owner of the companies "Select Armour
Inc.," "Black Star Holding," and the investment fund "Cambridge
Wealth Management Ltd.," who is also using her developed connections
in Somali and Great Britain.

Having absolutely no authority from the owner of the vessel, the
indicated person has become an intermediary of the sea corsairs in
this negotiation process. In fact, her actions incite the pirates
to the groundless increase of the ransom sum offered by the owner of
the vessel, thus creating an obstacle for the positive solution of
this issue.

Taking into consideration the deep concern of the Ukrainian side
about the undesirable developments in the process of freeing
"Faina", triggered by the actions of the abovementioned U.S.
citizen, I address you with the request to facilitate the exclusion
of Ms. Golden-Ballarin from the negotiation process with the
pirates.

I wish to renew my sincere assurances of the highest consideration.

Sincerely,

V. Ohryzko
Minister

Taylor

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