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Russian Deputy PM Says Fleet Could Leave Base In Ukraine

Sergei Ivanov
Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov has been quoted as saying Russia is prepared to have the Black Sea Fleet to leave its naval base in Sevastopol in 2017 if the Ukrainian government demands it.

Speaking to the BBC television program "Panorama," Ivanov said Russia will seek to renew its lease on the Crimean port, but will move the fleet if Ukraine's government decides not to extend the lease, which runs out in 2017.

Ivanov, a former defense minister, said Russia has no territorial ambitions in neighboring states, and Moscow has recognized the territorial integrity of all former countries of the Soviet Union.