SEVASTOPOL, July 28 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych reviewed on Sunday a joint naval parade devoted to Navy Day.
Putin arrived in Sevastopol after taking part in festivities in Kiev celebrating the 1025th anniversary of Kievan Rus, a medieval state that comprised parts of what is now Russia and Ukraine. Russia’s Black Sea is stationed in Sevastopol, Crimea, which is now part of Ukraine.
Before attending the naval parade involving 14 warships from each side, Putin and Yanukovych laid flowers at the memorial to the defenders of Sevastopol, which saw fierce fighting between Soviet and Nazi German forces during World War II.
During the parade, Putin congratulated Russian and Ukrainian navy sailors and veterans with Russia’s Navy and Ukraine’s Fleet Day, saying “valor, honor, faithful military service and adherence to combat traditions have been invariably inherent in sailors and are passed over from generation to generation.”
Russia and Ukraine are united by the Slavic roots and the language, culture and religion, Putin said. “Our blood and spiritual ties are inseparable.”
Yanukovych said interaction between the two navies demonstrated strategic partnership between Russia and Ukraine.
“We develop partnership relations, hold joint [military] exercises, together celebrate festivities and together commemorate our antecedents,” Yanukovych said.