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Ukraine protests "unilateral" beefing-up of Russia's Black Sea Fleet

Ukraine protests "unilateral" beefing-up of Russia's Black Sea Fleet 28.01.2009
Russia has no right to make a unilateral decision on rearming its Black Sea Fleet, based in Ukraine, a senior Ukrainian diplomat said on Tuesday.

Some media sources earlier cited an anonymous Russian Navy official as saying that Russia was planning to redeploy a submarine from the Northern Fleet to the Sevastopol base in Ukraine's Crimea.

"We have to take note that, recently, instances of crude and purposeful violations on the part of the Black Sea Fleet of the mutual agreements signed in 1997, as well as Ukrainian laws, have increased," Leonid Osavolyuk, director of the fist territorial department at Ukraine's Foreign Ministry, reportedly said.

Reacting to Ukraine's accusations, a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry told the Ria Novosti news agency that Russia was fully honoring the 1997 agreement on the Black Sea Fleet and abiding by all Ukrainian internal laws. He stressed, however, that the orders and decrees of the Ukrainian president could not be a guide for action for the Black Sea Fleet.

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