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Ukraine does not plan to prolong the term of Russia's Black
Ukraine does not plan to prolong the term of Russia's Black Sea Fleet presence in the country after May 28, 2017, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

Russia's Black Sea Fleet currently uses a range of naval facilities in the Crimea under an agreement signed in 1997, under which Ukraine agreed to lease naval facilities to Russia until 2017.

"Ukraine does not consider the issue of prolonging the term of the Russian Black Sea Fleet presence on its territory after May 28, 2017," the ministry said in a statement. "Russia must completely withdraw its Black Sea Fleet from the [Ukrainian] territory by the set date."

On May 20 Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko signed a decree ordering the Cabinet to draft by July 20 a law terminating all international agreements on the presence of Russia's Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine.

Disputes between Russia and Ukraine over the lease of the base are frequent. Russia currently pays $93 million per year to lease the base from its ex-Soviet neighbor, which is paid for with Russian energy supplies.

Ukraine's state security services barred Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov on May 12 from entering the former Soviet republic over his 'provocative' statements regarding the ownership of the Black Sea city of Sevastopol.

Moscow's mayor made strong calls for the disputed ownership of a Russian naval base in Sevastopol to be transferred back to Russia.


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