Russia will use the Ukraine’s naval pilot training facilities in the near future, according to Russian Defence Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov.

The Nitka naval pilot training centre on the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine has been the only training facility for Russian naval pilots since 1997.

Serdyukov said Russia was interested in the continuation of its naval pilot training at the Nitka facility.

“Both countries are preparing an agreement on the conditions of a new rental deal,” he said.

The naval aviation training facilities at the Nitka facility include a launch pad, an aerofinisher, a trampoline, a catapult launching device, a glide-path localiser, a marker beacon and an optical landing system.

Russia also plans to begin construction of a naval pilot training facility on the Sea of Azov in southern Russia this year at a budget of R24bn ($771.3m). The facility will be complete within two years.