Russia will seek Ukraine's opinion on any moves to modernize its navy in Crimea, Russian Navy chief Vladimir Vysotsky said on Tuesday.
The Ukrainian and Russian parliaments on Tuesday ratified a deal to extend the lease on a Russian naval base in the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol for 25 years after the current lease expires in 2017. In return, Ukraine will receive a 30% discount on Russian natural gas.
"Undoubtedly, there can be no action without taking into account Ukraine's interests," Admiral Vysotsky said.
Ratification of the deal in the Ukrainian parliament took place amid violent protests by the opposition, which has called the deal is an "act of treason."
Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, who now heads the nationalist Our Ukraine party, criticized the new government for "trading sovereignty for gas."
"What happened in the Supreme Rada is a military usurpation; I am convinced that this is not the end," he said at a media briefing.
Former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko called on citizens to rise against the current leadership, Ukraine's UNIAN news agency reported. She said she would tour Ukraine "to unite the people" against "the gang that is now in power."
"We will try to gather an all-Ukrainian team to defend Ukraine in these dark and troubled times," Tymoshenko told journalists, adding that she would also seek early elections for a new parliament that would denounce the deal.
MOSCOW, April 27 (RIA Novosti)