Comments and statements by Foreign Ministry Spokesman

18 November 201913:22

Comment by the Information and Press Department on the transfer to Ukraine of warships arrested in November 2018 following Kiev’s provocation in the Kerch Strait

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On November 18, three Ukrainian Navy ships were handed over to the Ukrainian side. In November 2018, they violated the border of the Russian Federation in a deliberate provocation staged by Kiev in the Kerch Strait and were detained by Russian law enforcement agencies.

These ships are material evidence in an ongoing criminal process in Russia on the illegal crossing of our border. However, they have been transferred to the custody of the Ukrainian side because the Russian authorities have completed the necessary investigation in relation to these ships and their presence on the territory of the Russian Federation is no longer required to continue the criminal proceedings.

We would like to emphasise once again that the actions taken by the Kiev authorities, which ordered their military personnel to carry out provocative actions in November 2018, are a crime not only against the sovereignty of the Russian Federation, but also against Ukrainian citizens who were deliberately endangered and pushed to illegal actions.

The Russian side intends to continue to harshly suppress any provocations at its borders, including for reasons of safety of navigation in accordance with the Russian legislation, bilateral agreements and applicable international law.

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