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Russia Agrees to Pay More for Crimea Airbase

RIA Novosti

13:23 20/03/2012 MOSCOW, March 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russia has offered to pay $2 million a year for the use of a training airbase in Ukraine’s Crimea, up from $700,000, the Kommersant-Ukraina newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Ukraine said last April that India and China were showing interest in the training facility, after which Russia offered to pay more in rent.

A new lease agreement is expected to be signed soon, the paper quoted an unnamed source as saying.

The facility, located near the Crimean town of Saki, is used by Russian carrier aviation pilots.

Russia has been running into problems over the maintenance of its military bases in the former Soviet republics.

In February, Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev called for a Russian air base in the country to be closed, prompting Moscow to repay its $15 million debt to Kyrgyzstan for the lease of military facilities at Kant.

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