News in Brief

Kiev Warns Moscow

KIEV -- Ukrainian officials warned Russia on Thursday not to encourage separatist groups in Ukraine and insisted that Russian military ships will have to leave the Black Sea base of Sevastopol when Russia's lease expires.

Ukraine fears that Moscow may try to encourage a separatist movement on the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, which hosts Russia's Black Sea Fleet.

Moscow has insisted that it does not want to leave Sevastopol and has offered to pay more to continue using it. But Ukrainian Defense Minister Yury Yekhanurov remained firm, saying the deal will not be extended after 2017.

Meanwhile, Marina Ostapenko, a spokeswoman for Ukraine's security service, said the government will resist attempts by Russian extremists to recruit Ukrainians to their separatist cause. (AP)

Welsh News Winner

Kevin Owen, a Welshman who is the news anchor at state-owned English-language news channel Russia Today, was named the country's best news presenter Thursday at the TEFI-2008 television award ceremony held in the Kremlin Palace, Interfax reported.

REN-TV, arguably Russia's most independent television channel, won the awards for best news program, for Novosti 24, and best weekly analytical program, for Nedelya.

The anchors of the two shows, Mikhail Kurennoi and Marianna Maksimovskaya, respectively, each received separate awards for their work on the programs.

The NTV and TNT television channels boycotted the ceremony this year. (MT)