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21 May, 2008 13:22

Ukraine wants Russian navy withdrawal

Ukraine wants the withdrawal of the Russian Black See Fleet from its territory in 2017. The Ukrainian Cabinet, acting on the orders of President Yushchenko, is supposed to finish work on the bill in two weeks.

The Black Sea Fleet became an object of contention between Moscow and Kiev after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

In 1997 the two countries signed a Partition Treaty establishing two independent national fleets and dividing armaments and bases between them. The Russian Navy was allowed to remain in the Crimean port of Sevastopol for 20 more years, paying an annual rent of $US 93 million.

The Russian Foreign Ministry says the Ukrainian move doesn’t help establish trustworthy relations and will have a negative impact on further negotiations between the countries.