Ukraine Crisis

Boot Russia from Ukraine Naval Base, Top Lawmaker Says

The deputy leader of Ukraine's parliament called for the deal allowing Russia to keep its Black Sea fleet in its southern region of Crimea to be scrapped on Friday.

Oleg Lyashko's comments came after Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov accused Russia of staging a "military invasion and occupation" when gunmen seized control of two airports in the region.

"Due to Russia’s position on Crimea the Kharkiv agreements should be immediately denounced," Lyashko was quoted as saying by Russia's Itar Tass news agency.

In 2010, Ukraine’s exiled President Viktor Yanukovych extended the post-Soviet agreement with Russia to keep the Black Sea fleet in Sevastopol in exchange for cheap natural gas.

As a result, the Russian navy has basing rights in Ukraine until 2042.

Image: Russian navy ship moored in Sevastopol, Ukraine
Russia's landing ship Azov (center) is seen moored at the base of Moscow's Black Sea fleet in Sevastopol, Ukraine, on Feb. 24. Reuters