Talks on release of Ukrainian sailors intensified after leaders spoke

KIEV (Reuters) - Negotiations on the release of Ukrainian sailors, captured by Russian Navy off the coast of Crimea, have intensified after Russian and Ukrainian leaders spoke by phone earlier this month, Ukraine's ombudswoman said on Thursday.

Russia captured three Ukrainian vessels and their crews in November 2018 in territorial waters that separate Crimea, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014, and Russia.

"In the active phase of the negotiations on the release of Ukrainian sailors have moved after a telephone conversation between the President of Ukraine and the president of Russian Federation," Lyudmyla Denisova told a news conference.

(Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Writing by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Alison Williams)