RUSSIALINK: “Kremlin has nothing to add to Putin’s remark on Zelensky’s call for freeing Ukrainian sailors – Peskov” – Interfax

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

MOSCOW. July 1 (Interfax) – Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has invited journalists to reread Russian President Vladimir Putin’s comments on Ukrainian sailors detained following the Kerch Strait incident.

“As regards replying to the emotional appeal of the Ukrainian president, I think I have nothing to add to what Putin has already said during the final press conference in Osaka. As you know, that question was asked,” Peskov told the press on Monday.

Journalists asked Peskov to comment on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s emotional call for freeing Ukrainian sailors.

Speaking of correspondence between the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministries regarding the Ukrainian sailors, Peskov said, “As for the notes exchanged [by the two ministries], you should ask the Russian Foreign Ministry. They didn’t concern the release. Investigative procedures continue, and they [Ukrainian sailors] must appear in court.”

“To our knowledge, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry maintains a special stance. We are unaware whether it has changed in some way,” Peskov said.

He suggested that journalists should ask the two foreign ministries about details of their correspondence.

As Putin said at the June 29 press conference in Osaka, Ukraine had practically acknowledged that the actions of its sailors in the Kerch Strait were a provocation staged by former President Petro Poroshenko’s administration.

“I would like to point out that, I believe, the newly appointed chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff has already confirmed that it was a provocation organized by Poroshenko during the electoral campaign. Well, that’s completely out of line, it’s outrageous,” Putin said at a press conference following the G20 summit in Osaka on Saturday.

“Let’s proceed from that. If that’s so, the Ukrainian side has basically admitted it was its provocation,” he said.

The sailors issue will be solved “calmly, in a working atmosphere,” he said.

“We have questions regarding some people detained in Ukraine… They [the sailors] were simply obeying an order and that’s it, we’re aware of that, but they broke the Russian law,” Putin said.