Presidential Secretariat gives answer to Moscow

13:54, 15 August 2008
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Yushchenko’s orders are not discussed but fulfilled

The statements of the Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov concerning the issues of the Russian Black Sea Fleet temporary stay in Ukraine look unfriendly and obviously show a blatant disrespect to Ukraine, the press-service of the Ukrainian Presidential Secretariat informs referring to the statement of Secretariat’s foreign policy department chief Ihor Dolhov. “Orders of the President of Ukraine must not be subject to interpreting or commenting by official representatives of the other side”, he stressed.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov criticized the Ukrainian move to restrict Russian ships Thursday, saying it reflected "an obsessive desire to please NATO and join it." Russia`s military said Thursday that it would ignore a decree by Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko requiring its Black Sea Fleet to give 72 hours` notice before undertaking any movements from its Crimean port.

According to I.Dolhov, considering the recent developments, the response of the Russian side was predictable. “However, such statements of the Foreign Minister of the neighbor state look unfriendly and obviously indicate a blatant disrespect to Ukraine”, said I.Dolhov.

“Commenting on the actions of the Ukrainian Head of State, the Russian Minister deliberately avoided mentioning the fact that the issue of crossing the Ukrainian border by the Russian Black Sea Fleet, and the issue of its movement beyond its naval base, had been discussed at sessions of working groups, as well as at a session of the respective Sub-Commission of the Ukrainian-Russian Inter-State Commission. So, this issue cannot be any “surprise” for the Russian side. Unfortunately, the talks on these issues, which have been carried out at the diplomatic level since the year 1999, have not yielded any result because of the position of the Russian side”, the Presidential Secretariat’s representative noted.

I.Dolhov also stressed that the steps of Ukraine are forced and depend only on the current situation. “The state cannot afford a long-lasting use of the political-diplomatic dialog by the other side for deliberate dragging out and suspending the solution of the problem. Moreover, taking into account that this issue is directly connected with security interests and sovereignty of Ukraine”, said he, adding that Russian used the ships of the Black Sea Fleet, deployed in Sevastopol, in its war with Georgia, without any consultations with Ukraine.

Besides, the Presidential Secretariat stressed, the Russian Minister should have known that the RF BSF stay at the Ukrainian territory is regulated with the basic agreements on RF BSF dated May 28, 1997, and the legislation of Ukraine. However, S.Lavrov forgot to mention that, in line with article 6 of the Agreement on the Status and Conditions of the RF BSF Stay at the Ukrainian Territory, the Russian military units must respect the sovereignty of Ukraine, observe its legislation, which, without any doubt, includes acting international agreements of Ukraine, and do not interfere into internal affairs of Ukraine.

“Such issues as movement of the Russian Black Sea Fleet through the territorial waters of Ukraine, crossing the State Border of Ukraine, movement of military subdivisions of the fleet on the territory of our state, are regulated only by the Ukrainian legislation. Thus, orders of the Ukrainian President must not be subject to interpretation or comments of official representatives of the other side”, I.Dolhov summed up.

As UNIAN reported earlier, on August 13, President of Ukraine Victor Yushchenko introduced tougher rules on Russian naval moves. Under the terms of Wednesday`s presidential decree, Ukrainian authorities must inform fleet commanders of their consent for the movement of warships and aircraft 24 hours before their scheduled departure. Should commanders fail to comply with the rules, Ukraine`s foreign ministry would be empowered to ask the vessel or aircraft to leave Ukrainian territory.


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