Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin wrote on Twitter that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia promises to allow Ukrainian consuls to visit the captured Ukrainian sailors on November 25 in the Kerch Strait area.
“The Russian Foreign Ministry officially reported that the sailors were in Moscow, and promised to let them meet with our consuls, 10 days after the seizure of our ships. We are doing everything to ensure that the consuls get to the guys as quickly as possible,” the Foreign Minister emphasized.
On November 25, Russian Navy vessels rammed, opened fire and seized three Ukrainian Navy ships, the Berdiansk, the Nikopol and the tug boat Yany Kapu, which were heading to Mariupol from Odessa.
The Russian Federal Security Service in the Crimea claimed that the three ships “illegally crossed Russia’s borders” on November 25th and carried out “dangerous maneuvers” on the way to the Kerch Strait. The FSB used weapons against Ukrainian boats in the Black Sea.
According to Kyiv, six Ukrainian sailors were injured. The FSB of Russia confirmed the use of weapons against Ukrainian ships and that three Ukrainian sailors were injured. Ukrainian Security Services (SBU) reported that two of its members were also onboard the ships.
The Ukrainian Prosecutor’s Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea declared the Ukrainian sailors as prisoners of war detained by Russia.
The Kremlin-controlled courts in Simferopol and Kerch arrested 24 Ukrainian military servicemen, including the three wounded who are in a Kerch hospital. They will be under arrest until January 25, 2019. The detained sailors could face up to 6 years in prison.