The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to the demand of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron to release the Ukrainian sailors captured by the Russian Federation and to ensure unhindered navigation in the Kerch Strait. The corresponding statement was published on the website of
the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Thus, the official statement says that the accusations of Berlin and Paris against Moscow regarding human rights violations in the occupied Crimea and the escalation of tension in the Sea of Azov "are regrettable."
Commenting on the Kerch Strait blockade by Russia, the ministry said that the Russian Federation allegedly provides "freedom of navigation in this region in accordance with the existing Russian-Ukrainian agreements, domestic legislation and applicable international norms."
At the same time, the Russian Foreign Ministry did not even mention the Ukrainian seamen captured in the Kerch Strait area.
Earlier the Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel during a phone conversation with President of Russia Vladimir Putin called him to release the captured Ukrainian sailors, who were detained by the Russian side near the Kerch Strait, reports DW.
It is advised that Merkel has greeted the agreement regarding the establishment of the new ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, which was achieved on December 27 within the Trilateral Contact Group on the solution of Donbas conflict. The ceasefire regime entered into force on December 29.
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.