Ukraine’s foreign minister says he has prepared a bill stipulating that the Russian Black Sea fleet must leave a Ukrainian port when a lease agreement expires in 2017. Ukrainian port when a lease agreement expires in 2017. The presence of Russian ships in the port of Sevastopol has become a sore point in already strained relations between the two ex Soviet neighbors. Ukraine wants the ships out, while Russia is eager to continue renting the naval base and is offering to pay more.
Ukraine's parliament erupted when parliamentarians were asked to vote on a controversial law allowing Russia to continue to use a naval base in Crimea.
Opposition MPs oppose the move by Ukraine's new pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, describing it as a betrayal. As scuffles broke out, nationalist MPs unfurled the Ukrainian flag.
They then began pelting the speaker, Volodymyr Lytvyn, with eggs. As bodyguards protected him with two umbrellas, Yanukovych's supporters joined in, slapping and punching one hapless MP. Smoke then filled the chamber.
The clashes symbolise the split between Ukraine's Russian-speaking east and south and Ukrainian west and centre. These divisions, though sometimes exaggerated, have worsened since Yanukovych's narrow victory in February's election.
Soon after winning, Yanukovych torpedoed the coalition of his defeated Orange rival, Yulia Tymoshenko, luring MPs away from her government. "Today will go down as a black page in the history of Ukraine and the Ukrainian parliament," Tymoshenko said in parliament.
She vowed to tear up the deal with Russia as soon as she was returned to power. [emphasis added, natch] Her party accuses the new government of selling Ukraine's sovereignty – with deputies today shouting "betrayal", "traitor" and "impeachment".
Yanukovych this week agreed to extend the lease to Russia's Black Sea fleet on the Crimean port of Sevastopol for 25 years, until 2042. In return, the Kremlin has given Ukraine a 30% discount on its gas bill.
Rejection of the presence of the Russian Armed Forces in Crimea, including at Sevastopol as the base of the Russian Federation's Black Sea Fleet. The time frame will be set at six to ten months, which is insufficient for an orderly relocation of the military facilities to Russian territory in the vicinity of Novorossiysk. –
As anyone who ever shopped for a rug knows, the more you pay for it, the more valuable it seems. The Obama administration has paid a lot... The recent deal between Russia and Ukraine granting Russia control of a Crimean naval base through 2042 was shrugged off by Obama officials, as have been Putin's suggestions for merging Russian and Ukrainian industries in a blatant bid to undermine Ukrainian sovereignty.So at least one effect of the administration's "reset" has been to produce a wave of insecurity throughout Eastern and Central Europe and the Baltics, where people are starting to fear they can no longer count on the United States to protect them from an expansive Russia.