2 April 2014, 11:25

Putin denounces Black Sea Fleet agreements with Ukraine

Putin denounces Black Sea Fleet agreements with Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law "On the Denouncement of the Agreements Regarding the Deployment of the Russian Black Sea Fleet on the Ukrainian Territory," the Kremlin press service said. The law was passed by the State Duma on March 31, 2014, and approved by the Federation Council on April 1.

"This federal law comes into force from the day of its official publication," the document runs.

The law holds that the Russian-Ukrainian treaty on parameters of division of the Black Sea Fleet signed on May 28, 1997, the treaty on status and terms of deployment of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine signed on May 28, 1997, the treaty on mutual settlements related with division and stay of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine signed on May 28, 1997 and the so-called Kharkiv agreement on stay of the Russian Black Sea Fleet on the territory of Ukraine signed on April 21, 2010 are denounced.

On March 28, the Russian president has submitted a bill on termination of the effect of these agreements for debates in the State Duma lower house of parliament. On March 31, the bill was unanimously approved by the lower house of parliament and was endorsed by the Federation Council upper house of parliament on April 1.

Russian Senators approve termination of Russia-Ukraine Black Sea Fleet treaties

The Federation Council approved a bill terminating the Russian-Ukrainian treaties on the Black Sea Fleet at an unscheduled meeting on Tuesday. The law regarding the Russian naval bases in Ukraine was passed unanimously, Interfax reports.

The draft law terminates the Russian-Ukrainian treaties of May 28, 1997 - on the parameters of dividing the Black Sea Fleet, on the status and conditions for the Russian Black Sea Fleet to remain in Ukraine, on mutual payments related to the Black Sea Fleet and a further similar agreement signed in Kharkov on April 21, 2010.

"Following the signing of an agreement between Russia and Crimea on March 18, 2014 on Crimea's accession to Russia and on the formation of new regions within Russia, the essence of the Russian-Ukrainian agreements has been lost due to the virtual termination of Russia leasing facilities for its Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine," an explanatory note said.

It also refers to articles 61 and 62 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 1969, according to which Russia has the right to terminate relevant treaties.

Russian MPs pass bill ending Russia-Ukraine Black Sea Fleet treaties

Russia's lower house of parliament on Monday passed a bill terminating a series of agreements with Ukraine on the status and activities of the Black Sea Fleet. The bill was introduced in the State Duma by President Vladimir Putin on March 28 following Crimea's reunification with Russia. The measures to be scrapped include a 1997 agreement on the conditions for the fleet's stay in Crimea, which was extended by 25 years in a 2010 deal by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

The Russian Black Sea fleet is headquartered in Sevastopol, a city with special status within Crimea, which has recently become Russian territory after 60 years as part of Ukraine.

Russia ready to discuss legal issues with Ukraine after Black Sea Pact termination

Moscow does concedes that certain issues surrounding property ownership will arise with Ukraine after the termination of bilateral agreements on the Black Sea Fleet, said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Grigory Karasin, on Monday.

"We do not exclude that, in regard to the Russian Federation's unilateral termination of these agreements, there will most likely be legal, financial, property and other issues that will have to be regulated with Ukraine," Karasin said during his speech in the country's lower house of parliament, adding: "We are ready to discuss these issues with the government of Ukraine, which we hope will be formed democratically and constitutionally, and will represent the entire population of Ukraine, not just in words, but in action to give respect and abide by fundamental human rights, including the rights of the Russian-speaking residents of Ukraine."

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