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Putin says no talks with Ukraine about release of sailors

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday there had been no discussion with Ukraine about the possible release of the Ukrainian sailors who were seized along with their ships by Russia last month.

Putin spoke with reporters on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Buenos Aires. Russia is resisting international calls to release three Ukrainian naval ships that its border patrols fired upon and seized in the strait near Russian-annexed Crimea last weekend.

Moscow accused the 24 sailors of illegally crossing the Russian border.

Putin said he would not introduce tit-for-tat restrictions on the entry of Ukrainians into Russia after Kiev imposed a ban on Russian males aged 16 to 60 from entering its territory.

After U.S. President Donald Trump cancelled a planned meeting with Putin at the G20 summit, citing the military tensions with Ukraine, the Russian leader said there were no pre-conditions for future bilateral talks.

“It is regrettable that we can’t succeed in holding a full-scale meeting, which is long due,”

Putin said, adding that issues of strategic stability would be of paramount importance.

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