Military

Russia, Ukraine discuss naval troops movement in Crimea

RIA Novosti

13:5627/05/2010 SIMFEROPOL, May 27 (RIA Novosti) - Representatives of Russian and Ukrainian Foreign Ministries discussed on Thursday a draft protocol on movement of Russian Black Sea Fleet servicemen across Ukraine.

"The draft document has been sent back for revision," said a spokesman for the administration in Ukraine's port city of Sevastopol, which is home to Russia's Black Sea Fleet.

The discussion was held at the meeting of a working group of the Russian-Ukrainian subcommittee on the issues of Russia's Black Sea Fleet based in Ukraine.

Since 2008, Ukrainian police have prevented freedom of movement to Russian sailors in Sevastopol and Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, following a decree by former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko.

Ukrainian police have detained Russian sailors traveling around Sevastopol demanding documents showing their stay in Ukraine is authorized.

In summer 2009, Ukraine's traffic police held a bus with 30 Black Sea Fleet sailors for almost 24 hours. As a result, one of the Russian sailors suffered heat stroke.

The country's new leader, Viktor Yanukovych, promised to resolve the issue of the Russian Black Sea Fleet without hampering "strategic friendly relations with Russia."

In late April, Yanukovych and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev reached an agreement on extending the lease on the Russian base in Sevastopol for 25 years after the current lease expires in 2017, which may be further extended by another five years.



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