MOSCOW: Russian defence minister warned a defiant Kiev yesterday that attempts to review the status of a key Russian naval base in Ukraine could reignite a potentially dangerous border row.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, who is resisting Russia's demand for a nearly five-fold increase in gas prices in 2006, has hinted Ukraine could hit back by reconsidering the terms of leasing the Sevastopol base in the Crimean peninsula.
"The agreement on the Black Sea fleet base is one part of a bilateral treaty, the second part of which contains recognition of mutual borders," Sergei Ivanov said in televized comments. "Trying to revise the treaty would be fatal."
The 1997 pact gave new legal status to the historical home base of the Black Sea fleet,