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German minister: Kerch Strait is now open for shipping

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (R) attends a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, Russia January 18, 2019. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation/Handout via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - It is widely acknowledged that ships can pass through the Kerch Strait - a body of water shared between Russia and Ukraine - is now free, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Friday.

“The Kerch Strait is currently free - that’s what everyone involved says,” Maas said during a visit to Moscow.

Ukraine imposed martial law in November, citing the threat of a full-scale invasion after Russia captured three of its vessels in the Kerch Strait.

Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Writing by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Michelle Martin