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Who and Why Against Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimea?

04.07.2008 16:07

Failed unity and actual collapse of the orange coalition caused discomfort and standoff in the Ukrainian political establishment against the background of aggravating political crisis of power in the country. V. Yuschenko declares his special attitude to Russia but in so doing makes active efforts to reproach with the West and join NATO. J.Timoshenko seized with her power ambitions tries to maneuver between these aspirations of the Ukrainian President and desire to maintain normal working relationship with Russia.

Both former comrades-in-arms feel instability of their position on political Olympus and endeavor to use any opportunity to demonstrate their loyalty both to the West and to Russia. A token coin in the political struggle is the Russian Black Sea Fleet stationed in the Crimea.

For example, on June 18 a representative of pro-presidential faction ?Our Ukraine-People?s Self Defense? addressing the plenary session of the Supreme Rada demanded from Russia to immediately start construction a naval base in the Russian territory where the Black Sea Fleet will be stationed after its withdrawal from the Crimea. What a care of Russia! The speaker also emphasized that ?Russia manages not only to use the Ukrainian soil and assets for peanuts but also violate the agreements concluded between the two countries?. In so doing, he allegedly forgot that various nationalist groups permanently provoke Russian seamen in the Crimea sponsoring surely not without knowledge of Kiev provocations near the Black Sea Fleet facilities.

Aspiring to NATO V. Yuschenko even signed a degree about preparation for the withdrawal of the Black Sea Fleet. Thus he tries to play up to the USA in attaining its objectives in the Black Sea including gaining the geostrategic superiority in this region with subsequent struggle for the Caucasus and Caspian Sea involving Ukraine and Georgia in this process.

This trend is confirmed with annual NATO sea exercises with participation of the Ukrainian Navy. It is indicative that these exercises are conducted near the Crimea and include an amphibious operation. A question arises: is it a dress-rehearsal of armed assistance to Ukraine by the USA, and against whom does Ukraine ?keep company? with the USA? Is this ?friendship? against Russia, when the USA by these means escalates concern over probable Ukrainian-Russian confrontation in the Crimea? The attempts to force Russia from the Black Sea are also preconditioned by the fact that American oil and gas corporations purposefully and actively prepare themselves for the struggle with the Russian energy corporations for the influence in the regions.

Thus Ukraine in cooperation with Georgia provides for achievement of the US strategic objective: the permanent military presence in the Black Sea and Caucasus regions and later in the Caspian Sea and Central Asia. In the NATO plans the Black Sea is a major component of the West-to-East geostrategic axis ensuring safe energy and hydrocarbon transportation from Central Asia and Caspian Sea to Europe.

In the light of the aforesaid a cautious statement made by Prime Minister J. Timoshenko at a press-conference on June 28 in Moscow on the Black Sea Fleet problem that she ?would not like the emotions would be escalated with respect to this matter? arouses certain mistrust. Or it was her political curtsy to Russia to delicately pass to the matter of the Russian-Ukrainian gas relationship?

Only time will show to what degree the words of J. Timoshenko were sincere and how she will solve the Black Sea Fleet problem should she come to power. But all previous steps of ?Panna Julia? do not instill optimism?