Russia will return Ukraine’s ships on one condition
The Federation Council believes that Kyiv must publicly recognize it was provocation on its side when the Kerch Strait conflict occurred.
Member of the Federation Council Sergei Tsekov named one condition upon which the Ukrainian ships detained in the Kerch Strait shall be returned, in an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
According to him, Kyiv must publicly recognize it was provocation on its side when the Kerch Strait conflict occurred.
“We regard the provocation as a crime. We detained the Ukrainian sailors in connection with the crime that they had committed while trying to go through the Kerch Strait ignoring the generally accepted norms established earlier. They were detained, then it took some time to collect evidence of their guilt and a serious trial was to take place. The ships are material evidence, as far as I know,” Tsekov said.
According to him, the Russian authorities consider the Ukrainian sailors’ conduct in the Kerch Strait illegal, despite the fact that they gave the sailors to Kyiv. Tsekov said Russia might give Ukraine back its ships, too, even if Kyiv does not publicly plead guilty.
The border control of the FSB of Russia detained three ships of the Ukrainian Navy in the Kerch Strait area on November 25, 2018 when they crossed the Russian border, failing to respond to demands to stop and began dangerous maneuvering. Moscow dubbed the actions of the Ukrainian side a provocation and opened a case on violation of the state border.
Kyiv considers Moscow’s actions an “act of military aggression”; martial law was introduced in a number of regions bordering Russia and Transnistria.