Russia returns Ukrainian naval ships seized last year near Crimea
Moscow (dpa) – Russia has returned three Ukrainian naval ships that it seized last year off the coast of Crimea, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday.
The Russian coastguard seized the vessels and their crews during a standoff in the Kerch Strait in November 2018 in which the Russian coastguard opened fire.
Russia maintains that the Ukrainian navy committed a “provocation” near the disputed Crimea region, which Russia annexed five years ago from neighbouring Ukraine to far-reaching international outcry.
By sending the ships to Crimea, Ukraine committed a “crime not only against the sovereignty of the Russian Federation but also against the Ukrainian citizens who were deliberately endangered and forced to commit offences,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
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