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    Ukraine seeks deal limiting use of Russian Black Sea Fleet

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    Ukraine wants Moscow to agree to a deal restricting the use of Russia's Crimea-based Black Sea Fleet in armed conflicts, a top Ukrainian diplomat said on Monday, following Russia's deployment of warships near Georgia.

    KIEV, August 11 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine wants Moscow to agree to a deal restricting the use of Russia's Crimea-based Black Sea Fleet in armed conflicts, a top Ukrainian diplomat said on Monday, following Russia's deployment of warships near Georgia.

    Ukraine, whose pro-Western leadership shares the NATO ambitions of Georgia, threatened on the weekend to refuse to allow the Russian vessels to return to the Sevastopol naval base. The ships were patrolling the waters near Georgia during a Russian peace enforcement operation that begun after Georgia's costly offensive in breakaway South Ossetia.

    "We hope that this situation will compel both parties to sign such an agreement. The Ukrainian side is ready for this," Deputy Foreign Minister Konstyantyn Yeliseyev said. He reiterated Kiev's position that the use of the Russian ships in armed hostilities is unacceptable.

    Russia's Defense Ministry said on Sunday that the Russian Navy had sunk a Georgian vessel transporting missile launchers.

    The Ukrainian diplomat said the country does not want confrontation with Russia but "normal, constructive dialogue that must take Ukraine's interests into consideration."

    Two Russian warships - the Moskva missile cruiser and Smetlivy patroller - returned to the Russian port of Novorossiisk on Sunday evening. The Moskva had been docked at the Sevastopol base before its deployment near Georgia.

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