January 18, 2019 / 11:24 AM / a year ago

Russia says Putin has allowed German experts to monitor Kerch Strait

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a news conference with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic (not pictured) in Belgrade, Serbia, January 17, 2019. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday that President Vladimir Putin had agreed to a proposal by German Chancellor Angela Merkel for German experts to monitor the Kerch Strait near Crimea.

Lavrov said Putin had agreed to the request a month ago, but that the Germans had still not arrived.

In November, Russia detained three Ukrainian navy vessels and their crews in the Black Sea near the Kerch Strait, fuelling tensions between the two countries.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

Reporting by Maxim Rodionov and Christian Lowe; Writing by Maria Tsvetkova; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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