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Russia agrees to return Ukrainian vessels captured in Kerch Strait

At the moment, the sides agree the place and time of pass of three vessels
20:02, 15 November 2019

112 Agency

Russia will return the military vessels captured in Kerch Strait in November 2018 to Ukraine as Kommersant reported.

According to the source, at the moment, the sides are agreeing on the place and time of the pass of three vessels. The issue should be regulated before the Normandy Summit planned for December 9.

Kyiv will get back small armored boats Berdyansk and Nikopol and tugboat Yany Kapu. Two informed sources confirmed that the principled is made to return these vessels. According to them, Russia and Ukraine stay in the final stage of the negotiations with the participation of the law enforcement bodies and foreign ministers of both states. The date and place of the pass of the vessels is to be agreed.

According to the sources, the return of the vessels will take place in the sea, not in the port. Berdyansk, Nikopol and Yany Kapu will be towed by three Russian tugboats to the agreed place, where three Ukrainian tugboats will meet them.

Related: State Bureau of Investigation investigates probable involvement of ex-Ukrainian authorities in sailors' detention in Kerch Strait

The personal weapon of Ukrainian sailors, as well as portable radio sets and crew lists, will be kept in Russia.

As we reported earlier, on November 25, 2018, Russian border guards seized the Ukrainian Yana Kapu raid tug and small armored artillery boats Berdyansk and Nikopol of the Naval Forces of Ukraine in the Kerch Strait area, using weapons. As a result of the incident, 24 Ukrainian sailors were detained and arrested.

On September 7, the prisoners’ exchange took place between Kyiv and Moscow in 35 for 35 format.

24 Ukrainian sailors and 11 political prisoners - already ex-political prisoners - captured by Russia over the past five years, returned to Ukraine. Faces of the released Ukrainian sailors, left activist Oleksandr Kolchenko, filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, journalist Roman Sushchenko, Crimean Tatar Edem Bekirov and the rest of former captives were seen in the crowd. 

 

 

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