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Russia annuls fleet treaties with Ukraine

Xinhua, April 2, 2014 Adjust font size:

President Vladimir Putin has signed a law terminating four treaties with Ukraine over the Russian Black Sea fleet, the Kremlin press service said Wednesday.

"This federal law comes into force from the day of its official publication," it said on its official website.

Russia and Ukraine signed three treaties in 1997, regulating the status and terms of deployment of the Black Sea fleet in Sevastopol, a port city in Crimea.

In 2010, the two countries inked a "gas for fleet" agreement, with Moscow offering a discount for gas in exchange for extending its lease of the fleet for another 25 years.

The Russian State Duma, lower house of the parliament, approved on Monday a bill annulling the agreements, saying the fleet's status would now be regulated by Russian laws, as the Sevastopol naval base has become Russian territory, though major Western powers refuse to recognize it.

The bill was endorsed Tuesday by the Federal Council, the upper house of the Russian parliament.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko said Tuesday Kiev would not denounce the agreements.

"In international judicial practice, such actions are unacceptable; such actions are not recognized by international courts. We, for our part, shall not denounce any of these agreements," he told a press briefing.

The Black Sea fleet is one of the four Russian fleets, and has been stationing in Crimea since the Soviet Union era. Endi

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