Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Monday said three Ukrainian naval ships that were seized in a shooting confrontation nearly a year ago have been returned.
The two gunboats and a tug were taken by the Russian coast guard on Nov. 25, 2018, as they passed through the Kerch Strait that connects the Black Sea with the Azov Sea, en route to their home port in Mariupol.
The Kerch Strait runs between mainland Russia and Russia-annexed Crimea. Russia claimed the ships violated procedures for transiting the strait.
The Russian coast guard fired shots and seized 24 Ukrainian sailors. The sailors were detained for 10 months and returned home in September as part of a prisoner exchange.On Friday, the French presidency announced a summit involving France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine in Paris on Dec. 9 to discuss ways to resolve the wider conflict in eastern Ukraine.