President of Russia Vladimir Putin agreed on the offer of German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the provision of the access of the German and French specialists to Kerch Strait as Interfax reported citing Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
“More than a month ago Chancellor Merkel asked President Putin to allow German specialists to come to the region of Kerch Strait and see, how the passage through these waters takes place, considering the necessity to observe the safety rules…and President Putin agreed,” Lavrov said.
He added that some time ago, Merkel asked for coming not only of the German specialists but also of the French workers and supposedly Putin agreed on it too.
Besides, Lavrov reported that German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas passed him an offer, “which “packs up” this simple visit in some document, which should be agreed with Ukraine”.
“We told honestly if our colleagues are interested in the things promised by President Putin to Chancellor Merkel, that it can be done today, tomorrow, any time. If the issue is in the necessity to enshrine it in some political procedure in which the Ukrainian side will make some decisions but we risk appearing in the same situation as “Normandy Format” did with “Steinmeier formula”,” Russia’s Foreign Minister said.
On November 25, the coast guard ships of the Russian Navy attacked the ships of the Ukrainian Navy, which have been carrying out a scheduled transition from Odesa port to Mariupol port in the Sea of Azov.
21 Ukrainian sailors have been delivered to Lefortovo remand center in Moscow, three others are in the hospital of Matrosskaya Tishina prison, also in the Russian capital. On December 3, the Russian prosecutors officially accused Ukrainian sailors with the 'illegal crossing of the state border' during the attack in the Kerch Strait.
On December 26, Crimean Supreme Court left all Ukrainian sailors under arrest.
On January 16, Lefortovo court has extended the arrest period for all Ukrainian sailors who suffered the attack of the Russian Navy in the Kerch Strait in November.
Earlier Poltorak stated that Ukraine will continue carrying out passages through the Kerch Strait and sending vessels to Azov Sea ports despite the existing danger.