Merkel and Macron Asked Russia to Release Ukrainian Sailors
OREANDA-NEWS French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for the passage of all ships in the Kerch Strait and release the arrested Ukrainian sailors, said in a joint statement of the leaders of the two countries.
"They (sailors) should be able to spend holidays with their families," - said in the document, distributed by the press service of the Elysee Palace.
In addition, Macron and Merkel expressed deep concern about the human rights situation in Crimea and "Russia's use of military force in the Kerch Strait, as well as excessive checks in the Sea of Azov."
The Russian Foreign Ministry reported that the Kerch Strait has never been international within the meaning of the UN Convention on the law of the sea and the requirements on the right of transit or peaceful passage for foreign ships are not applicable to it, and that the inspections of ships carried out by the Russian coast guard are justified, and the increase in their number since April is caused by the strengthening of security measures in connection with the commissioning of the first stage of the Crimean bridge.
At the same time, Ukrainian ships and ships can freely walk across the Strait in the framework of the Russian-Ukrainian agreement of 1993, explained Russian Admiral Viktor Kravchenko.
Putin said that the usual activities there is no limit, although due to the fact that the Straits are very narrow and small, almost always carried out pilotage.
More than a month ago, three ships of the Ukrainian Navy violated the Russian border, entered the temporarily closed waters of the territorial sea and moved to the Kerch Strait. They maneuvered dangerously and did not obey the legitimate demands of the Russian authorities. Ships with 22 sailors and two SBU officers were detained, three of them were wounded, they were hospitalized and received medical care, their lives are not in danger.