Forgot password?
submarines shipbuilding Black Sea Fleet exercise Pacific Fleet Russian Navy Northern Fleet strategy cooperation Ukraine visits Russia piracy missiles trials Sevastopol history Sevmash presence contracts drills Baltic Fleet industry incident anti-piracy shipyards Gulf of Aden frigate training Somalia India developments reforms opinion Borei procurements policy Russia - India aircraft carrier Crimea arms exports USA St. Petersburg France tests financing Bulava Yury Dolgoruky US Navy Serdiukov cruise Mediterranean Zvezdochka NATO innovations United Shipbuilding Corporation Indian Navy Medvedev Arctic agreements commission Admiralteyskie Verfi Admiral Gorshkov Vladivostok Mistral accident hijacking corvettes overhaul Admiral Kuznetsov anniversary Russia - France Vysotsky Rosoboronexport ceremony event Yantar Severomorsk negotiations defense order conflict aircraft China deployment naval aviation investigations Black Sea Putin Varyag coast guard Novorossiysk Vikramaditya landing craft crime Far East marines Severnaya Verf meeting scandals memorials traditions Syria statistics Japan escort South Korea Yasen Neustrashimy tenders Marshal Shaposhnikov Admiral Chabanenko convoys Ukrainian Navy problems Severodvinsk Chirkov reinforcement tension firings tragedy technology Baltic Sea search and rescue Almaz Moskva frontier service Caspian Flotilla provocation hostages upgrade court Dmitry Donskoy keel laying rumors Turkey World War II death shipwreck Admiral Panteleyev Atalanta Petr Veliky helicopters Kilo class Kaliningrad Admiral Vinogradov Norway Rubin delivery launching patrols
Our friends russian navy weapons world sailing ships
Tell a friend Print version

Ukraine says Russian Navy must get ready to leave Crimea

27.10.2008 Source: en.rian.ru

Russia should start preparing to withdraw its Black Sea Fleet from bases in the Crimea now, because the process could take up to six years, a Ukrainian diplomat said on Friday.

Under bilateral agreements, Russia's Black Sea Fleet has the use of the Crimean Sevastopol base and other naval facilities until 2017. Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko announced in the summer that Ukraine would not extend the lease beyond that date.

"According to our estimates, the pullout and preparation of alternative facilities [for the Black Sea Fleet] may take a while. We expect this process to last five or six years," said Leonid Osavolyuk, director of the First Territorial Department at the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry.

"The Russian leadership must therefore start getting ready to withdraw its fleet as soon as possible," he told a news briefing at the ministry.

Although the agreement foresees a possible extension of the base lease, and Moscow has repeatedly said it wants negotiations on the issue, Ukraine reiterated its position on Thursday that it would not permit an extension of Russia's naval presence in the country after 2017.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine heightened after several Black Sea Fleet warships dropped anchor off the Georgian coast during and after August's armed conflict with Tbilisi over breakaway South Ossetia.

President Yushchenko has called for the Russian Navy's early withdrawal from the Sevastopol base, as well as tougher deployment requirements and higher fees, demands that have not been backed by his former coalition ally, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Russia condemned Yushchenko's actions as a violation of the bilateral agreements on the presence of the Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine and said its fleet would continue carrying out its activities as usual.

Osavolyuk said on Friday that Russian combat ships frequently transport undeclared cargo and refuse to submit customs declarations while crossing Ukrainian territorial waters, in violation of a decree issued by the Ukrainian president.

Russia's naval base in the Crimea currently has 50 warships and patrol boats, along with around 80 aircraft, and employs coastal defense troops.

The next round of Russian-Ukrainian talks on the presence of the Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine has been tentatively scheduled for November.

Back to the list

Back to news list