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ST. PETERSBURG, July 4 (Itar-Tass) - The bulk of the work to set up a new naval base in Novorossiisk will be completed by the middle of 2014, Deputy Defence Minister Yuri Borisov said on Thursday, July 4.
“The work has been coordinated with the arrival of the first Project 636 submarines to the base,” he said.
The Defence Ministry is planning to sign a full life cycle contract with the Admiralty Shipyard for these submarines. “We want the submarines to get both current maintenance and long-term repairs,” the deputy defence minister added.
The naval base in Novorossiisk is intended to accommodate the Russian Black Sea Fleet that is currently stationed in Ukraine’s Sevastopol.
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 USSR.
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.
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.
President Vladimir Putin said the construction of the base would cost 92 billion U.S. dollars.
The main base of the Black Sea Fleet ships and all infrastructure for marines, coastal troops and naval aviation will be ready by 2017-2020. Up to 80 warships of various classes will be deployed in Novorossiisk.