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Ukraine says it reserves right to stop Russian Black Sea Fleet returning
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08:44, August 11, 2008

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Ukraine warned Russia on Sunday it could bar Russian Black Sea Fleet warships from returning to their Ukrainian base of Sevastopol due to their deployment to Georgia's coast, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"In order to prevent the circumstances in which Ukraine could be drawn into a military conflict ... Ukraine reserves the right to forbid the ships and vessels that may be involved in these actions from returning to Ukrainian territory until the settlement of the conflict," the statement said.

South Ossetia declared independence from Georgia in the early 1990s and was governed by a secessionist government since then although its independence has not been internationally recognized.

On Friday, Georgian troops began a military action against South Ossetia's forces in an attempt to re-establish control over the region. In response, Russian troops moved into the region to fight the Georgian forces.

Earlier Sunday, Russian warships arrived at Georgian Black Sea coast to prevent weapons from landing by sea.

Russia has said the two-day conflict has killed 1,500 people and the death toll is expected to rise.


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