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Opposition seeks to restore parliament’s right to denounce int’l treaties.

February 22, 2012, 23:10 UTC+3

The Russian fleet is to stay in Sevastopol for 20 years, until 2017

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KIEV, February 22 (Itar-Tass) —— The Constitutional Court of Ukraine has received an inquiry asking it to look into the legality of the decision that stripped parliamentarians of the right to denounce international treaties.

The inquiry was filed by 47 opposition MPs and is not being studied by the Constitutional Court’s Secretariat, the court’s press service said on Wednesday, February 22.

Lawmakers were deprived of their right to denounce international treaties by the Law “On Amendments to the Verkhovna Rada Regulations” that was passed by the parliamentary majority on January 11, 2012.

On Wednesday, February 22, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Russia would not withdraw its Black Sea Fleet from the Crimea.

In reply, the Ukrainian opposition sent its inquiry to the Constitutional Court in a bid to restore the parliament’s right to denounce international treaties.

On April 21, 2010, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed an agreement on the presence of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine. It extended the term of deployment for 25 years after 2017 with a possible further extension for another 5 years.

After the break-up of the USSR in 1991, the Black Sea Fleet became a bone of contention between Russia and Ukraine. The issue of dividing it was hot on the agenda. The first move to resolve it was the signing in Mukhalatka (near Yalta) on August 3, 1992, of the agreement on the principles of forming the navies of Russia and Ukraine on the basis of the Black Sea Fleet of the former Soviet Union.

The parties conducted difficult negotiations for five years. As a result, they signed the agreements in Kiev on May 28, 1997 on the division, mutual settlements, status and terms of stay of the Black Sea Fleet in the territory of Ukraine.

Under these agreements, the Russian fleet is to stay in Sevastopol for 20 years, until 2017. The annual payment for the lease is 97.75 million dollars.

Russia has no plans to leave Sevastopol ahead of time, but intends to build facilities for the Black Sea Fleet in Novorossiisk, the chief of the Russian General Staff, Nikolai Makarov, said.

Meanwhile, Russia is building a new Black Sea Fleet base for deep-draft surface ships in Novorossiisk. The construction of the Black Sea Fleet base in Novorossiisk began in 2005. The project covers all ship, aircraft and coastal infrastructure. Work is expected to be completed by 2020.

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