Russia returns captured Ukrainian navy ships

Ukraine's military has confirmed that Russia is returning three Ukrainian naval ships it captured last year.

The vessels were seized in the Kerch Strait in November 2018.

Two gunboats and a tugboat were taken in the narrow strip of water between mainland Russia and Crimea.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said earlier Monday (November 18) that Moscow had handed over the three ships.

Ukraine has pushed for their return as a goodwill gesture from Russia ahead of a four-way peace summit on eastern Ukraine next month in Paris.

Russia and Ukraine will be joined by France and Germany in the talks.

The boat return isn't the only deal Russia and Ukraine are talking through.

Russian energy giant Gazprom has sent a letter to Ukraine proposing either to extend a current gas deal or sign a new one-year agreement.

The current deal expires on December 31st.

Gazprom supplies gas to Ukraine, which also acts as a transit country for Russian gas to Europe.