Russia is planning to permanently rent Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula facilities for naval pilot training, Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov has said.
“I have signed a request to the Ukrainian defence minister to allow us the [permanent] use of the Nitka facility for naval pilot training in the form of a rental or some other agreement,” he added.
Ukrainian counterpart Mykhailo Yezhel said the plan is likely to be satisfied because Ukraine does not have its own aircraft carrier and has no plans to acquire them in the future.
Yezhel further said the details regarding the potential rent and the duration will be discussed.
Currently, Russia occasionally uses the Nitka Naval Pilot Training Centre as the only training facility for its naval pilots, as part of a 1997 bilateral agreement between the nations.
The Nitka Centre was built to provide naval aviation training facilities to help pilots practice skills in taking off from and landing on an aircraft carrier’s deck, according to RIA Novosti.