Kremlin: Putin explained attack on Ukrainian ships to Merkel and Macron

During a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave his German and French colleagues Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron a detailed explanation about the incident in the Kerch Strait, reported  Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, as cited by Interfax.

“The president gave comprehensive explanations about the Black Sea border incident [at the meeting with Merkel], and demonstrated it clearly. He also demonstrated it clearly yesterday, at the meeting with French President Macron,” Peskov told reporters.

According to Peskov, Putin demonstrated the situation by drawing a diagram of it.

The Kremlin spokesperson was asked whether Germany might mediate a resolution of the incident.

“Merkel mentioned her desire to facilitate a resolution of the situation. The word ‘mediation’ was not used, and it is unlikely to be possible, since this is a case of state border violation, a court case, and investigations into the violators. This is why one probably cannot talk about any mediation,” Peskov observed.

He was also asked whether the matter of the Ukrainian sailors’ release was discussed.

“This topic was touched on. Putin also explained that this is a matter of a court ruling, and investigations, and so it will take some time,” Peskov said.

“There were Ukrainian soldiers who crossed the Russian state border and behaved like hooligans in Russian waters,” he added.

On Saturday on the sidelines of the G20 summit, Merkel and Putin agreed to conduct further negotiations on the Kerch Strait incident on the advisory level between Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany.

On November 25 in the region of the Kerch Strait, Russian border guards opened fire on Ukrainian military boats and captured the two small armored artillery boats Berdyansk and Nikopol, and the tugboat Yany Kapu, together with their crews, a total of 24 sailors, 3 of whom were wounded.

The detained Ukrainian sailors were taken to Russia-annexed Crimea and charged with “violating the Russian border”.

On November 30, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin confirmed that the arrested Ukrainian sailors had been transferred from Simferopol to the Lefortovo pretrial detention center and the Matrosskaya Tishina infirmary in Moscow.

  Putin, Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Macron, Merkel, Kerch Strait