The Russian lower house of parliament, the State Duma, has approved an additional plenary session on April 27 to ratify an agreement on prolonging the presence of the country's Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine's Crimea for another 25 years.
The agreement, signed on Wednesday by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, extends the lease on the Russian base in the port of Sevastopol for 25 years after the current lease expires in 2017, and may be further extended by another five years.
The head of the State Duma's foreign affairs committee, Konstantin Kosachyov, said Ukraine's parliament would also hold a session to ratify the agreement simultaneously with Russia's parliament.
State Duma speaker Boris Gryzlov said he hoped the Ukrainian parliament will also ratify the deal.
MOSCOW, April 23 (RIA Novosti)