KIEV, November 11 (RIA Novosti) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko believes Russia's Black Sea Fleet stationed on the Crimean Peninsula is leading to instability between the two countries' relations.
Russia's Black Sea Fleet uses a range of naval facilities in Ukraine's Crimea, including the base in Sevastopol, as part of a 1997 lease agreement valid until 2017. However, Yushchenko believes the Russian fleet should leave Ukraine before May 28, 2017.
"The existence of Russia's Black Sea Fleet [in Crimea] has seriously destabilized Ukrainian-Russian relations," Yushchenko was quoted by the UNIAN news agency as saying during a question and answer session on Wednesday.
Yushchenko said the country's Constitution forbids the deployment of military bases in Ukraine.
A Russian-Ukrainian subcommittee on the Black Sea Fleet at the level of deputy foreign ministers holds regular meetings to discuss the implementation of the 1997 agreement.