Russian Federation hands over to Ukraine three ships detained in Kerch Strait

Четверг, 21 Ноя, 2019

Russian wants to resolve the conflict ahead of the summit announced on Friday by the French government scheduled to be held on December 9.

If it happens, the Normandy summit, named after a meeting in the northwestern French region of the leaders of the four countries in 2014, will take place following a breakthrough in relations between Russian Federation and Ukraine.

Russia will return three naval ships captured a year ago near the Kerch Strait to Ukraine on Monday, local media reported, quoting Russian border guard in Crimea. In addition, Russian Federation is ready to resume gas supplies to Ukraine, which were discontinued in 2015, at a price reduced by 25%.

Putin maintains that he is representing the separatists to achieve peace.

Crimea's border service was not immediately available for comment on Sunday.

"Let's not overestimate our expectations so that later we will not be disappointed", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

The minister expressed hope that the parties would still be able to return to a constructive dialogue.

According to an Ukrinform correspondent in France, this was discussed in a telephone conversation between the French leader and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, the Elysee Palace reports.

"The process of returning the Berdiansk and Nikopol armored gunboats and the Yany Kapu tugboat captured last November is at the final stage", the New Time publication said citing Yermak as saying.

It emphasised Russia's position that Ukraine must grant more autonomy to the Donbass.

Russian Federation views the incident as an attempt to illegally cross the border, the statement added.

Macron has also spoken to Zelenskiy and Merkel about the planned summit, the Elysee Palace said.

It aims to implement the "Minsk agreements", deals reached in 2014 and 2015 to end the conflict but which have yet to be properly put in place.

The Russian Coast Guard seized two gun boats and a tug boat in November 2018 as the vessels maneuvered near the strait, which runs between Russia and Crimea, annexed from Ukraine.