The Russian President said that on his four-day tour of cities in Southern Russia he was able to take a close look at the situation on the ground. The visit was prompted by the need to address the country’s problems, including those of this key region for Russia. He mentioned the need to solve the border problem together with Russia’s closest ally, Ukraine.
President Putin told journalists that he had signed a document on creating a Russian Black Sea Fleet base in Novorossiisk. He stressed that the creation of that base did not mean that all the Russian ships would automatically be moved from the Crimea to the Krasnodar region, and that Sevastopol would continue to play its role. But there is a need to have several alternative bases because the fleet has to perform various missions, the President explained.
Mr Putin also signed a plan of cooperation between ministries and agencies in solving the problem of the Russian military-diplomatic presence in the Black Sea – Azov Region. The President thinks the Government has not been paying enough attention to the problem while concentrating on the problem of the Caspian. He said it was an oversight and that the issue of the Black Sea – Azov basin needed to be addressed without delay.