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Putin: Russian Fleet presence in Crimea stabilizing factor in region

December 19, 2013, 16:31 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, December 19. /ITAR-TASS/. The presence of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Crimea stabilizes the situation in the region, President Vladimir Putin told an annual grand news conference on Thursday.

“There is a treaty on the stay of the Russian fleet there. The treaty has been extended and I believe that it is done for the benefit of both countries,” Putin said.

“The presence of the Russian fleet in Crimea is a serious stabilizing factor of international and regional policy,” the president said.

He disagreed with a journalist who compared the current situation in Crimea with the situation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia in 2008. “Thank God, there is nothing of the kind will be in Crimea. I hope so,” he said.

Russia had to interfere into the conflict between Georgia and these republics because Russian peacekeepers were attacked, Putin said.

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