Russia is “a peaceful country” and has no intention to use its Black Sea fleet, based in Ukraine’s Sevastopol, against “adjacent states”, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said.
"Will Russia use its Black Sea fleet to attack adjacent states? No, it will not," Medvedev said while speaking at the Kiev State University on May 18.
Russia used part of its Sevastopol-based Black Sea fleet, including flagship, guided missile cruiser Moskva, during the August, 2008 war with Georgia.
In what appeared to be an allusion to U.S. warships’ regular port calls to Georgia, Medvedev said visits of “foreign ships” in Black Sea were source of concern.
“It strains us – and I know it also strains Turks – when foreign ships, which have nothing to do with our Black Sea basin, come and demonstrate something,” he said.
“You know various developments took place, including grave ones – there was Caucasian crisis in 2008 [reference to Georgia-Russia war]; so more the situation is stable in the Black Sea basin, it’s better for everyone, including for NATO,” Medvedev said and added that it was the main reason behind the prolongation of an agreement with Ukraine on Russian navy base in Sevastopol.
He also said that main guarantee that Russia would not use its Black Sea fleet against neighbors was “system of international relations, including our commitments within UN, as well as commitments under the international conventions, including under the Helsinki Final Act of 1975”.
“Will we ignore the international law? Of course we will not, because it’s not favorable for Russia. Russia is a huge country, which has multiple interests and it will affect us if we start dropping out from the international community,” Medvedev added.