New Ukraine Leadership Vows to Expel Russian Fleet from Crimea

World | February 28, 2014, Friday // 17:01|  views

A file photo dated 27 July 2008 showing battle ships of the Russian Black sea fleet seen during the Naval parade in Sevastopol, 700 km south of the capital Kiev, Ukraine. Photo by EPA/BGNES

The new Ukrainian government will look to scrap a 2010 deal, which extends Russia's Black Sea Fleet lease in the Crimea Region until 2042.

The deal, known as the Kharkiv Accords or Kharkiv Pact, was signed by Ukraine's ousted President Viktor Yanukovych and his Russian counterpart at the time Dmitry Medvedev in 2010. It extends Russia's Black Sea Fleet lease in the port city of Sevastopol until 2042, in return for cheaper gas prices.

"Due to Russia's position on Crimea, the Kharkiv agreements should be immediately denounced", Ukrainian Parliament Deputy Oleg Lyashko said, cited by ITAR-TASS agency.

The Crimea region is a contested area in the current Ukrainian crisis. With a majority ethnic Russian population, support for Yanukovych runs high. However, local Crimean Tatars and the Ukrainian population support the new leadership in Kiev. This has led to clashes over the past days in the region's capital Simferopol.

The autonomous Crimean Parliament announced on Thursday it plans to run a referendum for the future of the region.

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Tags: Black Sea Fleet, Russian, Dmitry Medvedev, Viktor Yanukovych, Kharkiv Pact, Kharkiv Accords, Crimea, Crimean Tatars, Simferopol, Sevastopol


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