The Russian Federation will soon return the Ukrainian ships that it took near the Kerch Strait in November 2018. Vadym Prystaiko, the Foreign Minister of Ukraine said so as quoted by Interfax news agency.
"We are now on the final stage of passage of these ships. They will be returned in the near future. The naval command is discussing technical issues now. Our task is to let the process complete", Prystaiko claimed.
The minister added that Ukraine already let Russia know it was ready to take the vessels, after the Russian side specifies the time and coordinates of their whereabouts.
Prystaiko insisted that Ukraine does not recognize Russia's living up to its international commitment in this case. "We do not recognize that the Russian side lived up to due return of Ukrainian sailors; it was not performed under the court decision. They should have been returned long time ago, without us passing them the people they asked us to. But, unfortunately, we could not be waiting any more, with our people staying in Russian prisons, waiting for Russia to live up to the decision of International [Maritime] Tribunal", the minister concluded.
Three ships of the Ukrainian Navy were taken by Russia's FSB Border Guard in November 2018; members of their crews, the 24 detained sailors returned home during the prisoners exchange procedure in September 2019.