Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko on Wednesday ruled out Russia's Black Sea fleet staying in Ukraine after its lease ends in 2017, a day after Moscow voiced interest in keeping it there longer.
Asked whether Ukraine would consider extending the Russian fleet's lease on the port of Sevastopol, Tymoshenko said: "We need to maintain this agreement until 2017 and then we need to make Ukraine a zone free of any military bases."
Moscow has been angered by Ukrainian demands that it quickly relocate the historic fleet founded by the Russian Empress Catherine the Great at Sevastopol in the mid-18th century.
The dispute has been aggravated by Ukrainian moves to join NATO, prompting some Western politicians to predict it could spark a new crisis in a region destabilized by Russia's incursion last month into Georgia.
Ukraine infuriated Moscow during that conflict by imposing rest
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