Merkel urges Putin to release Ukrainian sailors

Source : 112 Ukraine

The sailors detained in Kerch Strait are considered POWs
09:44, 11 December 2018


The Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel had a phone conversation with the Russian President Vladimir Putin, as the press office of Germany’s Government reported.

“The situation on the Kerch Strait was the main topic of the conversation. The Chancellor stressed “the necessity of the measures” directed at the provision of free shipping through the Kerch Strait,” the message says.

Related: All captured Ukrainian sailors enjoy legal support, - ombudswoman

Besides Merkel urged Russia to release 24 Ukrainian sailors detained while moving from Odesa to Mariupol.

“The parties discussed the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine after 2019,” the message says.

As we reported earlier, the coast guard ships of the Russian Navy acted aggressively against 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.   

Related: Ukrainian sailors cannot be considered as POWs, - Russia’s FSB

‘Today, November 25, the ships of the Ukrainian Navy with two armored gunboats and a sea mule tugboat have been carrying out a scheduled transition from Odesa port to Mariupol port in the Sea of Azov. The intention to make the transition was informed in advance in accordance with international standards in order to ensure the safety of navigation. However, contrary to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Treaty between Ukraine and the Russian Federation on cooperation in the use of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait, the Russian coast guard ships - Sobol class patrol boat, Don border guard cruiser, Mangust class patrol boat and Suzdalets anti-submarine warfare ship performed blatantly aggressive acts against the ships of the Ukrainian Navy,’ reads the message.  

Related: Ukrainian consul visits yet four sailors in Russia's Lefortovo remand center, - Ombudsman

It is specified that Don border guard cruiser rammed the Ukrainian armored artillery boat, which led to the damage of the main engine.    

The Ukrainian Navy states that "the dispatcher service of the occupiers refuses to ensure the right of freedom of navigation, guaranteed by international agreements." Thus, according to the Ukrainian side, Russia has once again demonstrated its aggressive nature and complete disregard for the norms of international law.

Related: Russia excludes possibility of releasing Ukrainian sailors until trial ends

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