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A dispute with Ukraine over a lighthouse on the Black Sea is subject to international agreements
A dispute with Ukraine over a lighthouse on the Black Sea is subject to international agreements, which means unilateral decisions cannot be applied, an aide to the chief of the Russian navy said Monday. On day four after Ukrainian officials seized the lighthouse, which Russia says belongs to its Black Sea Fleet hydrographic service, Igor Dygalo branded the Friday move a "provocation" and reiterated that unilateral measures could not be considered valid. "The Navy Command's standpoint remains unchanged, the lighthouse must be returned [to Russia]," he said. Although Russia and Ukraine have an agreement under which Russia will lease the base of Sevastopol in the Crimea until 2017, some Ukrainian politicians called for a revision of the contract terms after Russian energy giant Gazprom announced that it wanted to raise prices for supplies of natural gas to Ukraine to international market levels. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Transportation and Communications Ministry said Monday it ran the lighthouse in Yalta under a government order dated August 17, 1998, and the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry claimed all hydrographic facilities on the country's Crimea coast belonged to Ukraine. In a sign that the spat is likely to continue to blight bilateral relations, Dygalo also said Ukrainian official had arrived at another facility early Monday morning, where they took photographs and video recordings.
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