Russia firmly stands for de-politicizing the Black Sea Fleet negotiating process, Russia's ambassador at large said in an interview with the mass media published on the Foreign Ministry's Web site Sunday. Vladimir Dorokhin said emotional statements could not settle issues on the agenda, and the efforts of professionals were needed.

"Our negotiating positions are based on Russia's desire to allow the Black Sea Fleet to continue performing successfully its functions to maintain security in the region for all the coastal states, including Ukraine, and to enable the fleet's servicemen and their families to feel comfortably on Ukrainian territory," he said, RIA Novosty reported.

The ambassador at large added that disputable issues should be resolved in the spirit of good neighborly relations and reciprocity.

Dorokhin said Russia's legal position was based on the 1997 basic agreements, which had stood the test of time as a whole. "Their cornerstone positions, such as the term of the fleet's stay on Ukrainian territory and the size of rent are inviolable, while the mechanisms prescribed in such agreements to coordinate interests are quite viable," the diplomat said.

"We are convinced that the normal functioning of the Black Sea Fleet on Ukrainian territory and its interaction with Ukrainian sailors to keep stability in the region can become a substantial factor of strengthening good neighborly relations between Russia and Ukraine today as well," Dorokhin said.

The Russian senior diplomat also said that the sub-commission for the Black Sea Fleet would meet in Kiev on February 14 to discuss the situation with the Yalta lighthouse and all other issues essential for the normal functioning of the Black Sea Fleet.


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