Signed in 1997, the
agreement was last amended in 2010, when ousted President Viktor Yanukovych extended the Russian
fleet’s lease in Crimea to at least 2042, in exchange for a modest 10 percent discount on Russian gas imports.
Under the agreement,
Russia can have up to 25,000 troops and personnel in Crimea, but
there are plenty of conditions attached. In particular, only 1,987 members of the Russian military contingent can be marines and ground troops, according to Yevhen
Perebyinis, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman.
On March 3, during
the United Nations Security Council session, Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia also tweeted
that Russian troops need to request permission from the Ukrainian
authorities 10 days in advance to be able to leave their bases.