Russia and Ukraine will enter an agreement to regulate the overhaul of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov has said.

“This new document will allow the Black Sea Fleet to maintain the number of personnel and weaponry at the levels stipulated in the 1997 Russian-Ukrainian accords on the Black Sea Fleet,” he said.

Russian Navy commander Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky said the fleet would be strengthened with 15 new combat ships and diesel-electric submarines by 2020.

The Black Sea Fleet currently has 40 operational vessels, including a single diesel-electric submarine, most of them slated for decommissioning, according to RIA Novosti.

The fleet is currently stationed in the port of Sevastopol in Ukraine under a lease agreement that has been further extended for 25 years.

Russia has plans to bring its aging Soviet-era fleet up to modern standards as part of the modernisation of its armed forces.