Russia will have to withdraw the Russian Black Sea Fleet from Crimea in 2017. The opinion to this effect was expressed by expert with Russia's Institute for Strategic Studies Ajdar Kurtov at the international expert workshop 'Russia - Ukraine: The Problem of the Black Sea Fleet', UKRINFORM reports.

According to Kurtov, there is no opportunity to keep the fleet in Crimea, as the present and previous authorities of Ukraine have long chosen a vector for NATO integration, and as a result, an inevitable policy of excluding the Black Sea Fleet will be carrying out then.

The expert reminded that it would be reasonable to redeploy the fleet to the Russian Black Sea coast. “The Russian Black Sea Fleet Command had earlier moved such proposal,” Ajdar Krutov said.

For his part, Vitaly Zhuravlev, expert with the Institute of CIS Countries, noted that for today there is yet no alternative to Sevastopol for deployment of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. At the same time, he believes that if there is a political will of the parties, a decision to prolong stationing of the fleet could be found.

“Russia is little afraid of the fact that after withdrawal of the RBSF, another fleet can replace it. We have examples, when on the place of former Soviet bases NATO's military bases emerged in the Baltic states, in the East European countries,” he said.


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