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Ukrainian parliament ratifies agreement extending Russian Black Sea Fleet's presence in Crimea

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April 27, 2010, 11:54 a.m. | Politics — by Interfax-Ukraine
The Ukrainian parliament has ratified an agreement extending the Russian Black Sea Fleet's presence in Ukraine after 2017, signed by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in Kharkiv last week. A total of 236 MPs voted for this decision at the parliament's session on Tuesday.

The Russian and Ukrainian presidents signed a number of agreements at a meeting in Kharkiv on April 21. The fleet agreement extended the fleet's presence in Ukraine for 25 years, starting from 2017, when the existing deal would expire. It is also possible to extend the new deal for another five years.

The plenary session in the Ukrainian parliament began with fights and other incidents.

Two hundred and eleven parliamentarians registered for the session.

The session was opened by Parliament Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn. Eggs were hurled at him and he shielded himself with umbrellas. There was a fight between parliamentarians in the government building.

There is smoke from a smoke grenade in the session hall.

On Tuesday, the Ukrainian parliament is to consider the ratification of the agreement extending the presence of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine simultaneously with the Russian State Duma.

Before the session, several thousand supporters and opponents of this agreement gathered near the parliament building.

The opposition forces in the parliament and protesting the ratification of the agreement and have no intention of supporting it. The Party of Regions blocked the tribune and the parliament presidium on Tuesday morning.
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