Russia mulls offering Ukraine deal to keep naval base
After 2017 when a rental treaty expire
Russia is considering to offer Ukraine a deal to keep the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol as the main base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet after 2017 when a rental treaty expire, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on Tuesday, according to Xinhua.
"We can put forward a set of proposals that would be in the interests of both countries and deal both with rent for the base in Sevastopol and with building up the social infrastructure, cooperation in the sphere of the defense industry complex, shipbuilding and other sectors," Interfax news agency quoted him as saying in Moscow.
The Russian-Ukrainian treaty, inked on May 28, 1997, permits the Russian Black Sea Fleet to stay in Sevastopol, located in the Ukrainian island of Crimea, until 2017, but Kiev has objected to the Russian force`s stay at the former Soviet naval base amid soured ties.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Yushchenko said earlier this month that the Russian Black Sea Fleet "poses a potential threat for Ukraine`s security" and indicated to raise the leasing price.