Ukraine, Russia to hold new round of talks on Black Sea Fleet

09:31, 25 September 2008
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And on the role of Russia`s Crimean naval base

Ukrainian and Russian delegations will hold a new round of discussions on Thursday in Kyiv on the role of Russia`s Crimean naval base in the Georgia conflict, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said, according to RIA Novosti.

Russia-Ukraine tensions heightened after several Black Sea Fleet warships, based in Sevastopol in Ukraine`s Crimea, dropped anchor off the Georgian coast during and after last month`s armed conflict with Georgia over breakaway South Ossetia.

Ukraine "will draw the attention of the Russian side to the need to follow decrees issued by the Ukrainian president... Outside the zone of its temporary deployment, the Russian Black Sea Feet must comply with the existing laws of Ukraine," the ministry said.

Under a bilateral treaty, Russia`s Black Sea Fleet is to be withdrawn from its base in Sevastopol after 2017. Russia has repeatedly said it would like to extend the lease.

In a bid to extend the lease, Russia may submit an array of attractive proposals to Ukraine, the Russian defense minister said on Tuesday.

"We are ready to submit an array of proposals that would be beneficial for both countries," Anatoly Serdyukov said.

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

RIA Novosti

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