The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, addressed today in a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the situation in Ukraine and Syria, among other issues of international politics, sources from the Foreign Ministry said.
Both leaders agreed on the need to move towards a political solution in Syria and discussed the situation created after the announcement of the withdrawal of US troops, informed the deputy spokesman of the German government, Ulrike Demmer.
As for Ukraine, Merkel interceded again with Putin for the release of the Ukrainian sailors detained last November by Russian coastguards.
The German leader and the French president, Emmanuel Macron, had expressed, this Friday and through a joint statement, their concern about the attitude of Moscow in the Crimea and in the Strait of Kerch, which links the Black and Azov seas.
"The human rights situation in the Crimea, illegally annexed by Russia, the use of Russian military force in the Kerch Strait and the excessive inspections in the Sea of Azov are sources of deep concern," the two leaders said.
Macron and Merkel demanded that "all boats benefit from a safe, free and unhindered passage" in the Kerch Strait and also called for "the immediate and unconditional release of Ukrainian sailors so they can spend the holidays with their families."
Russia has accused of illegal crossing of its border to the 24 navy men of the Ukrainian navy captured in the past 25 November along with three ships – a tugboat and two gunboats – by Russian coastguards in the Black Sea, near the strait that communicates it with Azov's
Ukraine described the arrest as an act of aggression and claimed that the capture took place in international waters of the Black Sea after the Russian coast guard blocked the passage through the Kerch Strait.