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Ukraine May Raise Rent On Russia's Black Sea Fleet

9 December 2005 -- A senior Ukrainian official says Kyiv may ask Russia to pay more to base its Black Sea fleet in the Crimean port of Sevastopol.

Anatoliy Matviyenko, deputy head of the presidential administration, said today that if the two countries are going to switch to world prices, "Ukraine has the right" to raise the fleet's rent to international levels.

Russia and Ukraine are involved in a bitter dispute over gas prices.

Russia is asking Ukraine to pay world market prices for gas deliveries, offering in return to pay market prices for transit across Ukraine.

Ukraine has rejected the proposal. Kyiv currently receives cheap gas from Russia in return for its free transit to Europe.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov said today that the energy ministers of Ukraine and Russia are set to hold another round of gas talks in Moscow on 12 December.