Russia on Monday handed back three naval ships it captured last year to Ukraine, something Kiev wanted to happen before a four-way peace summit on eastern Ukraine next month in Paris.
The handover, confirmed by the two countries’ foreign ministries, occurred in the Black Sea off the coast of Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
Russia seized the ships in the same area in November last year after opening fire on them and wounding several sailors. Moscow said the ships – two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and a tug boat – had illegally entered its territorial waters. Kiev denied that.