At a press conference in Dnipropetrovsk, Victor Yushchenko said he was glad the Russian Navy Sub-Commission had started its work yesterday. He believes the most important result of their first meeting was an agreement to inventory immovable property rented by the Russian Navy in Crimea.

The President admitted that “these were not easy talks” because Ukraine had not broached this subject for many years, presidential office reported.

Yushchenko remarked that the key task of the Sub-Commission was not to revise the interstate agreement on the Russian Navy and its temporary stationing in Ukraine but “make this agreement relevant.” The President believes the sides should discuss ways to delimitate the territory, use radio frequencies and navigation facilities, and exchange information. They should also consider security issues.

“We need to find mechanisms to implement the agreement,” he said and added that most of these issues were not thoroughly formulated and so “there are many misunderstandings and reproaches.”

The President said he hoped the talks would help settle problems that had to be resolved back in 1997, when the agreement was signed.

“I am optimistic,” he stressed and then reiterated that the talks should be public and transparent.


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