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  Sunday, October 20, 2019
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The Russian Foreign Ministry has urged Ukraine “to stop taking unilateral steps against the Black Sea Fleet and to settle the existing problems at the negotiating table”
The Russian Foreign Ministry has urged Ukraine “to stop taking unilateral steps against the Black Sea Fleet and to settle the existing problems at the negotiating table.” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said so, commenting on the statement of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry about their intention to further work for establishing control over the navigation facilities of the Black Sea Fleet on the basis of rulings of Ukrainian courts. According to Kamynin, Ukraine’s statement came after the incident around the station of the MARS-75 radio navigation system (the city of Genichesk, Kherson Region, Ukraine), which is integrated in the Hydrographical Service of the Black Sea Fleet deployed in Ukraine. Kamynin reminded that representatives of the Ukrainian judicial bodies had come to the station on March 5, insisting that the Russian officers must fulfil the ruling of the Economic Court of the Kherson Region, which ruled to confiscate the station for the Ukrainian ministry of transport on the grounds that it was allegedly used illegally by the Black Sea Fleet. Representatives of the Black Sea Fleet said they could not fulfil the court ruling because “the court does not have the authority to settle problems dealing with the use of the navigation and hydrographical facilities, because those problems are settled by an interstate treaty.” “The stand, set forth by the Russian naval officers, is fully justified,” Kamynin stressed. The thing is that when the agreements on the deployment of the Russian Black Sea Fleet on the Ukrainian territory were signed in 1997, the problem of the hydrographical support for navigation was not settled to the full, Kamynin explained. “That time the parties agreed, however, that it would be settled by signing a special agreement. The basic documents do not say a word about the settlement of the problem at court,” he continued. According to his information, the sub-commission for the functioning of the Black Sea Fleet and its deployment in Ukraine began the drafting of an intergovernmental agreement on the problem in 2006. “This is where all the efforts should be concentrated. This is why we repeatedly suggested to our partners that they should withdraw their claims, because the continuation of the court procedure might only hamper the settlement of the problems. Last time we suggested it at a meeting of the sub-commission on February 27 in Moscow,” Kamynin said. “The statement of the representative of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, who said that Ukraine would further take steps for establishing control over the navigation and hydrographical facilities through courts, cannot but evoke regret. This is not the way to settling the problem. This is the way to worsening the situation around the negotiating process and to heightening tension around the specific, rigidly guarded facilities of the Black Sea Fleet,” Kamynin stressed. According to Kamynin, Russia “again urges Ukraine not to take unilateral steps and to work for settling the problem at the negotiating table.”
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