Russia Asks Ukraine For Dialogue On Fleet

MOSCOW, Russia -- Russia has called for a constructive dialogue with Ukraine over disputed naval facilities on the Black Sea, RIA Novosti reported.

Black Sea Fleet - Sevastopol, Ukraine

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Monday that Russia 'seeks mutually acceptable solutions on all issues related to activities of the Russian Black Sea Fleet on Ukraine`s territory.'

Under a contract that expires in 2017, Russia is renting facilities from Ukraine for its naval fleet, which has remained in the country since the collapse of the Soviet Union but has been a cause of friction recently as bilateral relations have deteriorated.

The deputy foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine are scheduled to meet Tuesday in Kiev, Ukraine`s capital, to discuss issues related to the normal functioning of the Black Sea Fleet -- including the Jan. 14 seizure by Ukrainian officials of a lighthouse in Yalta belonging to the fleet.

Relations between the two nations have worsened since Russian energy giant Gazprom turned off supplies of natural gas to Ukraine Jan. 1, when the latter refused to pay market prices for the gas. The dispute officially ended Jan. 4 with the signing of an agreement, but tensions remain.

Source: UPI

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