December 1, 2018 / 4:49 PM / a year ago

Merkel, Macron press Putin to free Ukrainian sailors

Russian President Vladimir Putin accompanied by Russia's Economy Minister Maxim Oreshkin arrives for the meeting with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina December 1, 2018. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS

NEW YORK (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel pressed Russian Vladimir Putin to release Ukrainian sailors who were seized along with their ships by Russia last month, Putin’s spokesman said.

Merkel and Macron met Putin separately on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina. Putin told them that the issue of the sailors was a matter for the courts, his spokesman said.

Russian channel TV Rain reported on Friday that 24 Ukrainian sailors had been taken to prison facilities in Moscow.

Reporting By Ross Colvin, editing by Daniel Flynn

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