Russia's Black Sea Fleet is based in Crimea (file photo) (ITAR-TASS)
October 31, 2006 -- Ukrainian politicians disagree on the fate of the Russian fleet based in Crimea.
Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych says he believes the fleet can stay there after the present agreement expires in 2017. He said there was no connection between the rent paid by Russia for the base and the price charged to Ukraine for Russian gas.
Kyiv and Moscow reached a gas deal on October 24 in which Ukraine will pay $130 per 1,000 cubic meters next year, an increase from $95.
Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk has even called for an increase in the rent paid by the Russians after the increase in gas prices.
But presidential adviser Taras Stetskiv also reiterated the Ukrainian position that there will be no extensions.