Russian Black Sea fleet ship to take part in Ukrainian navy parade
MOSCOW, July 4 (RIA Novosti) - For the first time in five years, a Russian warship will take part in a naval parade to mark Ukraine's Navy Day on Sunday, a Black Sea Fleet spokesman told RIA Novosti.
This year, Russia dispatched Smetlivy, a Kashin class guided missile destroyer, to participate in the parade in Sevastopol following an invitation from Ukraine.
In 2005, the administration of then Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko barred joint parades with Russian ships. However, as relations between Moscow and Kiev improved under new president Viktor Yanukovych, the Black Sea fleet has received an invitation to participate in this year's parade.
Russia, in return, invited the Ukrainian Navy to take part in the Russian Navy Day celebrations, to be held in Sevastopol on July 25.
"According to a decision made by Ukraine's naval command, [Ukraine's] Hetman Sahaydachniy frigate will take part," Capt. 1st Rank Vyacheslav Trukhachev said.
Russia's Black Sea Fleet has its main base in Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine recently signed an agreement extending the lease on the Sevastopol base for 25 years after the current lease expires in 2017.
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