Russian parliament annuls deal with Ukraine on using radars

Russia's lower house of parliament on Friday voted to stop using Soviet-built military radars in Ukraine because of Kiev's bid to join NATO. At the same time, lawmakers extended another deal which calls on Ukraine to help maintain Russia's intercontinental ballistic missiles - a move reflecting strong military industrial ties between the two ex-Soviet neighbors. The State Duma voted 388-58 with one abstension to scrap the 1997 agreement with Ukraine which allowed Russia to use data from the radars located near the western town of Mukachevo and the port of Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula. The huge facilities were part of a Soviet system of early warning radars intended to spot missile launches. Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov said the Ukrainian leadership's push for NATO membership had prompted the military to reconsider the agreement. "This is our response to the Ukrainian government's to quickly join NATO," he said.