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'Putin uses sailors as bargaining chip' - Ukraine's Foreign Minister

The Russian leader will fulfill the decision of the UN Tribunal and release 24 Ukrainian sailors soon, but not that simple
13:27, 10 July 2019

Pavlo Klimkin, the Foreign Minister of Ukraine
Rzeczpospolita

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin is convinced that Putin is using Ukrainian sailors as “a bargaining chip” as he said on air of ATR TV channel.

Klimkin is sure that Putin will fulfill the decision of the UN Tribunal and release 24 Ukrainian sailors soon, but it's not that simple. Russian President will demand as many political benefits as possible.

“He is interested in getting better conditions for raising rates. I have said multiple times that he uses the guys as a bargaining chip. His ultimate goal is sanctions and recognition of Russia as a country which fits into “normal”. And the second one is freedom of actions and a possibility to act in Ukraine for the split and federalization,” Klimkin noted.

Related: We work day and night to release Ukrainian sailors, - Zelensky

Earlier, President Volodymyr Zelensky said his team was working hard to see the Ukrainian sailors released from captivity in Donbas. The head of the state said so during the speech in Odesa, where he came with the working visit. "We work day and night in order to bring the captured sailors home. I do everything for the words about the release to finally become the real hugs with our guys", Zelensky said.

July 7, the Ukrainian leader came to Odesa and Luhansk regions with working visits. In Odesa, he joined the festivities timed to the Ukrainian Navy Day.

Related: Russian prosecutors press final charges against 24 Ukrainian sailors

24 Ukrainian sailors were captured in Kerch Strait near the Russian-occupied Crimea in November 2018. 

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