Ukraine Navy chief says Russia-seized naval boats to arrive in Ukraine on Nov 20-21 (Video)

16:08, 19 November 2019
Ukraine
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Photo from UNIAN

"[They will arrive] approximately on November 20-21," he told the Ukrainian news agency RBC-Ukraine.

UNIAN memo. On the morning of November 25, 2018, Russia blocked the passage to the Kerch Strait for the Ukrainian tugboat "Yany Kapu" and two armored naval boats "Berdyansk" and "Nikopol," which were on a scheduled re-deployment from the Black Sea port of Odesa to the Azov Sea port of Mariupol. All 24 crew members on board were captured and charged with "illegal border crossing" under Part 3 of Article 322 of the Criminal Code of Russia (imprisonment for up to six years). Later the Ukrainian sailors were freed and returned to Ukraine in a major prisoner swap between Ukraine and Russia on September 7, 2019.

Read alsoKremlin says Ukrainian naval boats' return unrelated to ITLOS decision

The ITLOS on May 25 ordered Russia to immediately release the three vessels and return them under Ukrainian control.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said on October 11 that "there is interaction" between Russia and Ukraine and the process of returning the ships captured by Russia was "at the final stage."

On November 17, Russia began moving the Ukrainian naval boats from the Genmol water area in Russian-occupied Kerch before their handover to Ukraine.

The vessels are now on their way to the Ukrainian port city of Odesa.

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