Ukraine says no Russia control

18:20, 18 September 2006
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Of Black Sea facilities

Ukraine issued its latest diplomatic barrage against Russia`s military presence on the Black Sea Tuesday when it said its former Soviet stable mate had no right to control infrastructure, navigation and support facilities there, according to RIA Novosti.

      A court in the Crimean port of Sevastopol, where Russia`s Black Sea Fleet is based, ruled earlier that the fleet should surrender lighthouses and other property, which have been at the center of an increasingly acrimonious dispute, along the Crimean coast. And the Foreign Ministry backed the ruling, saying Russia had no ownership rights under intergovernmental agreements.

      "Armed units of the Russian Black Sea Fleet or any other agencies of the Russian Federation are in no way authorized to bear any responsibility for the safety of navigation or engage in any ship navigation or pilot operations in Ukrainian territorial waters," the ministry said.

      An agreement signed by Ukraine and Russia in 1997 divided the Soviet Black Sea Fleet,

      The Ukrainian ministry criticized Russia`s refusal to comply with the Sevastopol court ruling, saying this position is in conflict with the rules of international law.

      Russia`s Foreign Ministry earlier urged the Ukrainian side "to refrain from any action that could exacerbate the already complicated situation around navigation and hydrographic support facilities in the Black and Azov Seas, and to continue the search for solutions to outstanding problems exclusively through negotiations."

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