MOSCOW, November 5. /TASS/. The issue of returning ships that took part in the Kerch Strait provocation from Russia to Ukraine should be discussed through diplomatic channels, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.
"All that [the ships’ return and the relevant terms] is an issue for discussion through diplomatic channels," he told reporters, advising them to get in touch with the Russian Foreign Ministry for clarification.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadim Pristaiko earlier informed that Kiev had sent another note to Russia demanding that the venue and timeframe be provided to have the ships, which were detained in the Kerch Strait incident last year, returned.
Kerch Strait incident
On November 25, 2018, three Ukrainian naval ships violated the rules of navigation through Russia’s territorial waters on the way from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov. Military force had to be used to stop them in the Kerch Strait. The vessels were detained, and 24 Ukrainian sailors were arrested.
On September 7, 2019, Russia and Ukraine exchanged detainees, who had been either arrested or convicted in both countries. The prisoner swap was carried out in accordance with the ‘35 for 35’ principle. The Ukrainian sailors taken into custody during the Kerch Strait incident were among those individuals.
At present, Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigation is looking into lawfulness of actions by the country’s former leadership, which dispatched warships to the Kerch Strait.