Merkel, Macron urge Russian Federation to release Ukrainian sailors

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and France's President Emmanuel Macron take part in a European Union leaders summit in Brussels

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and France's President Emmanuel Macron take part in a European Union leaders summit in Brussels

There have been several cease-fires since Russian Federation annexed Crimea including one that was due to begin Saturday, but Ukraine military violated the ceasefire, shelling the militia's positions in the self-proclaimed Lugansk People's Republic in eastern Ukraine, the LPR mission to the Joint Center for Control and Coordination said in a statement Saturday.

As earlier reported, on November 25, Russian border guards attacked and captured three Ukrainian naval vessels en route from Odesa to Mariupol near the Kerch Strait.

Russian Federation on Saturday dismissed a statement by the leaders of France and Germany accusing it of using military force and carrying out illegitimate checks on Ukrainian vessels in the Black Sea.

The move comes almost a month after a naval incident in the Kerch Strait, which connects the Sea of Azov with the Black Sea, when Russia detained three Ukrainian warships after they violated the Russian maritime border and ignored legal demands to leave the area.

In theory, a 2003 Russia-Ukraine treaty gives, unrestrained access to the Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov for both sides. "They too must be allowed to spend the holidays with their families".

Besides, the two leaders also expressed their concerns over the situation in the Sea of Azov, and called for the free and safe passage of all ships through the Kerch Strait. Russia, who annexed the Ukrainian territory of Crimea in 2014, said Kiev is trying to provoke a diplomatic crisis.

The Russian President Vladimir Putin explained to Merkel in a telephone conversation that the seafarers will be determined and in accordance with Russian law would be treated, told the news Agency RIA, citing a spokesman for the Russian government.

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