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Ukraine and Germany set up meeting to create monitoring commission in Kerch Strait

Ukraine and Germany set up meeting to create monitoring commission in Kerch Strait

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Foreign Ministers of Ukraine and the Federal Republic of Germany Pavlo Klimkin and Heiko Maas agreed on expert-level negotiations on the establishment of a monitoring mission in the Kerch Strait. This was stated by Klimkin at a joint press conference with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Friday in Kyiv, Interfax-Ukraine reported.
"We agreed that we will have a meeting of experts in the nearest future. There are political, legal and technical issues. If we have a joint vision, we can continue to work with the Russian side," he said.
Maas expressed confidence that a monitoring agreement would be reached. The main task will be the de-escalation in the Azov region, the minister said.
"This is a hotbed of hazards for both the region and the parties involved, which can have long-term consequences," he stressed.
He also said that the crisis that occurred earlier in the Kerch Strait should not be repeated.
“We are concerned about the situation in the Azov Sea. In Moscow I once again raised this issue with representatives of Russia, in particular, in a conversation with Lavrov. I made it clear what we expect: Russia must ensure reliable passage through the Kerch Strait. We hear that this has already happened. We want this to be ensured on a long-term basis. The crisis, which took place in December, should not happen again in this form, "the minister noted.

On November 25, the coast guard ships of the Russian Navy attacked the ships of the Ukrainian Navy, which have been carrying out a scheduled transition from Odesa port to Mariupol port in the Sea of Azov. 
21 Ukrainian sailors have been delivered to Lefortovo remand center in Moscow, three others are in the hospital of Matrosskaya Tishina prison, also in the Russian capital. On December 3, the Russian prosecutors officially accused Ukrainian sailors with the 'illegal crossing of the state border' during the attack in the Kerch Strait.
On December 26, Crimean Supreme Court left all Ukrainian sailors under arrest.
On January 16, Lefortovo court has extended the arrest period for all Ukrainian sailors who suffered the attack of the Russian Navy in the Kerch Strait in November.
Earlier Poltorak stated that Ukraine will continue carrying out passages through the Kerch Strait and sending vessels to Azov Sea ports despite the existing danger.
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