The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine is strongly anxious about the dangerous incident provoked by the Tsezar Kunikov, a large landing vessel of the Black Sea Navy of Russia, on March 26, 2007 in Sevastopol, according to the Ministry’s press-service.

       According to the information of the Ukrainian authorities confirmed by the Headquarters of the Black Sea Navy of the Russian Federation, on that day at 3:10 PM near the Minna Stinka dock in the center of Sevastopol about the Nahimov Square, the mentioned Russian vessel fired an unauthorized shot from the artillery mount AK-725 which is used for destruction of aerial and above-water targets.

      The fired shell exploded at a height of 3000 meters about the Laboratorne Highway in Sevastopol.

      The explosion could result in death of people and severe destruction in the historical site of the city. Therefore it may not be regarded as a simple regrettable incident. It is an obvious consequence of incompliance with the requirements provided in the relevant bilateral documents. Thus, the Agreement of 1997 on the status and conditions of deployment of the Black Sea Navy of the Russian Federation in the territory of Ukraine, particularly, the Section 2 of the Article 8, clearly defines: “The military units shall conduct exercises and other training operations within the bounds of training centers, grounds, positional and dispersal areas, shooting-ranges and (except for prohibited areas) in allotted airspace areas subject to coordination with the competent authorities”.

      Unfortunately, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has not received any official explanations of this extremely dangerous incident from the Russian party.

       The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine sent the Russian party a note with the requirement to give explanations in connection with the unauthorized shot of the naval vessel and to take all necessary measures in order to disenable similar occurrences in future.