Russia fleet may stay in Ukraine if Tymoshenko becomes president

bhramos

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Russia fleet may stay in Ukraine if Tymoshenko becomes president

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko warned that in case Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko wins presidential elections this month the Russian Black Sea Fleet will remain in Ukraine's Crimea after 2017.
Russia's Black Sea Fleet uses a range of naval facilities in Ukraine's Crimea, including a base in Sevastopol, as part of a 1997 lease agreement valid until 2017.
"If Tymoshenko becomes the president of Ukraine than the Russian fleet will stay in Ukraine not until May 28, 2017 but for life," Yushchenko told a rally in the Lvov region of traditionally nationalist western Ukraine.
Party of Regions leader Viktor Yanukovych, most popular in the Russian-leaning east of Ukraine, is the frontrunner in the January 17 presidential elections, while Prime Minister Tymoshenko, an ally-turned-bitter-rival of Yushchenko, is expected to come second and force a runoff vote.
Yushchenko added that the presence of the Russian fleet in Ukraine will be "a destabilizing factor for the country."
Relations between Moscow and Kiev have deteriorated markedly during Yushchenko's presidency. Russian leaders have said they hope to establish constructive cooperation with the new Ukrainian president, ruling out any rapprochement with Yushchenko.
Russia fleet may stay in Ukraine if Tymoshenko becomes president | Top Russian news and analysis online | 'RIA Novosti' newswire
 

bengalraider

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an intersting article on Ukraine and russian relations from FP.com. as for my personla opinion i am all for aukraine back in the russian fold for one it should stop any further ukraininan weapon supplies to pakistan(i'm talking T-80's and IL-78's) .

Crimea and Punishment
On the eve of Ukraine's presidential election, a resurgent Russia may use the disputed territory of Crimea to reassert its hegemony over its eastern neighbor.
BY ANDERS ÅSLUND | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2010

Few neighbors are closer to one another than Ukraine and Russia. Both countries are East Slavic and Orthodox in makeup, trace their origins to Kievan Rus a thousand years ago, and belonged together as one state for more than three centuries. Yet cultural affinity does not necessarily breed friendship. To most Russians, Ukraine is simply "Little Russia" -- inconceivable as a separate country. And with the Jan. 17 Ukrainian presidential election, Russia gets another chance to prove its point.

While Ukrainians are understandably preoccupied these days with their country's economic meltdown, another crisis that Russia is seemingly determined to press, perhaps as early as 2010, will be over the fate of Crimea, the peninsula extending from southern Ukraine into the Black Sea. The autonomous region of 2 million ethnic Russians, Ukrainians, and Crimean Tatars is part of Ukraine for the moment, but recently, Moscow has claimed it should rightfully belong to Russia.



Boris Yeltsin, the first president of the post-Soviet Russian Federation, did what he could to fortify Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. He insisted that Russia choose a path of "internal development," not an "imperial one." So in May 1997, Yeltsin pushed through treaties with Ukraine that divided the assets of the old Soviet Black Sea Fleet between the two countries. Moscow was granted a 20-year lease on a base in Sevastopol, Crimea's best port, and Russia recognized Ukraine's borders.

Along came Vladimir Putin in 2000. From the outset, he expressed sympathy with those who sought to preserve the Soviet Union. Four years into his presidency, Putin openly supported the eastern-looking candidate, Viktor Yanukovych, in Ukraine's presidential election, while his pro-Western opponent Viktor Yushchenko was poisoned with dioxin. Although no Kremlin involvement was ever proven, the resulting backlash propelled Yushchenko and his Orange Revolution to power.

Since then, relations between Ukraine and Russia have only gotten worse. In January 2006 and January 2009, Russia cut off gas supplies to Ukraine, a key transit route to Western Europe. In 2008, when the United States campaigned for Ukraine to be admitted to NATO, Putin replied by threatening to end the country's very existence. Later that year in August, when Moscow rushed 8,000 marines from Crimea to fight against Georgia, Yushchenko vowed to block their return and supplied Georgia with missiles that shot down several Russian warplanes.

Moscow's list of grievances is long and lengthening: Ukraine sent soldiers to Georgia's defense; Ukraine wrongly expelled alleged Russian security officers; Ukraine is making wild accusations about Russia transporting heavy arms on Ukrainian territory without permission; Kiev is complaining too much about Russian installations in Crimea and is paranoid about the issuance of Russian passports in the area.

All these issues may come to a head in January. The only two plausible presidential candidates are the opposition leader (and former Putin favorite) Yanukovych and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. This time Tymoshenko appears to be Putin's preferred candidate.

Crimea is the wild card. What will Kiev do if the election ends in a stalemate? Yushchenko, the outgoing president who now prefers Yanukovych, controls the Ukrainian military and Security Service, while Moscow clearly favors Tymoshenko, who rules over the Interior Ministry. The possibilities for mischief are great, and the peninsula is fertile ground for unexpected provocations.

The Kremlin is thought to have ties to Crimea's Russian nationalist groups, which regularly organize protests. An outright military intervention is unlikely, but Russian forces from the Sevastopol base have recently had tense encounters with Ukrainian authorities, and the potential exists for violent confrontation. With Russia looking to renew its lease on Sevastopol and Yushchenko growing increasingly adversarial, having a finger in the power struggle in Kiev is a major priority for the Kremlin.

The United States is central to Crimean developments, having issued substantial security assurances to Ukraine in 1994 to induce Kiev to dismantle its nuclear forces. The good news is that in all probability it is enough for President Barack Obama to stand up for Ukraine in the face of Russian intimidation, but clearly and loudly, and in time.
Tick, Tock: Russian Meddling in Ukraine Provokes a Crisis - By Anders Aslund | Foreign Policy
 

bhramos

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bengalraider

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good article, nice find.
so they must have new president for that. Mr.Tymoshenko
correction the next president should be Mrs Yulia Volodymyrivna Tymoshenko . Wife of Mr Oleksander Tymoshenko .
 

bhramos

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Mrs Yulia Volodymyrivna Tymoshenko



Yulia Volodymyrivna Tymoshenko (Ukrainian: Юлія Володимирівна Тимошенко ['julijɑ ʋɔlɔ'dɪmɪriʋnɑ tɪmɔ'ʃɛnkɔ] Julia Volodymyrivna Tymošenko) (born on November 27, 1960) is a Ukrainian politician and current Prime Minister of Ukraine. She is leader of the All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" party and the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc.

Before becoming Ukraine's first female Prime Minister, Tymoshenko was one of the key leaders of the Orange Revolution. In this period, some Western media publications dubbed her as the "Joan of Arc of the Revolution".
why she?
is she infavour to Russia?
 

bengalraider

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Mrs Yulia Volodymyrivna Tymoshenko





why she?
is she infavour to Russia?
Ukraine is itself pretty much split on the issue while the eastren half is more pro-russia along with the crimean peninsula, the western half is in favor of a western outlook.This is partly due to economic reasons the eastren half is poorer and more heavily industrialized(most factories there being huge soviet era behemoths) than the western half which relies on banking and financial trade mainly Mrs Tymoshenko was initailly part of the "orange revolution" that took ukraine in to the era of the western oriented "Viktor Yushchenko". with president yuschenko's mandate set to expire next year, Yulia has re-invented herself as apro-russian candidate in hope of winnig the presidency riding on support from a resurgent "kremlin bloc" whithin the ukraine.

P.S cool picture of her on that bike:D
 

bengalraider

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The Russian Factor in Ukraine’s 2010 Presidential Elections
Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 7 Issue: 9January 14, 2010 09:55 AM Age: 24 hrs
By: Taras Kuzio

Russian Black Sea Fleet at Sevastopol, Ukraine
The Russian factor in this year’s Ukrainian presidential elections is essentially a straw man and far less important key than five years ago. Russian political technologists openly worked for one candidate (Viktor Yanukovych), while Moscow allegedly sought to poison the opposition candidate (Viktor Yushchenko) and President Vladimir Putin visited Kyiv on the eve of the first and second rounds to endorse Yanukovych. Putin congratulated Yanukovych on his “victory” two days after the second round –and one day before the central election commission had released the official results.

Mykhailo Kasianov, now in opposition but then an ally of Putin, described the Orange Revolution, the defeat of Yanukovych and election of Yushchenko as the biggest setback of Putin’s presidency ([Ãëàâðåä] Ãëàâíàÿ ñòðàíèöà, January 11).

Russian policy is now less obviously interventionist. It is highly exaggerated by Ukrainian candidates, particularly by the incumbent Yushchenko, who with single digit poll ratings is fighting for his political life. Yushchenko’s 2010 election campaign has retreated to Galicia on an anti-Russian, nationalist platform. He repeatedly labels the two front runners Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and Party of Regions leader Viktor Yanukovych, who will enter the second round on February 7, as a “Moscow coalition” (Ukrayinska Pravda, January 8).

Yushchenko’s anti-Russian platform will likely backfire for three reasons.

Firstly, it has already been attempted by Leonid Kravchuk in the 1994 elections and he lost in the second round by 44 percent to Leonid Kuchma’s 52 percent. In the 2010 elections, Yushchenko is not expected to enter the second round. Moreover, Ukrainian opinion polls show that over 80 percent of Ukrainians seek good relations with Russia and do not see any contradiction between Ukraine’s integration into Europe and maintaining these ties. Any candidate who campaigns on an anti-Russian platform will consequently weaken their electoral credentials. Finally, Yushchenko’s campaign is a regression from patriotism (2004) to nationalism (2010), which has shrunk his electoral appeal to Galicia from that of five years earlier when he swept the west and central Ukraine.

Yushchenko has focused on daily attacks against Tymoshenko, while ignoring Yanukovych (EDM, January 5, 6), with one theme being her allegedly close working relationship with Putin. Yushchenko claimed that President Dmitry Medvedev’s appeal represented indirect support for Tymoshenko (Ukrayinska Pravda, January 3).

The Unified Russia (UR) party has endorsed Yanukovych as its favored candidate, one reason being that it entered a cooperation agreement with the Party of Regions in 2005. “We believe that the Party of Regions mainly represents Russian-speaking voters in Ukraine who live in the east, south and central regions. These are all people who are sympathetic to Russia and want to see the development of Russian-Ukrainian relations,” said UR deputy Konstantin Zatulin (Ukrayinska Pravda, December 25).

Tymoshenko’s Fatherland Party has only cooperated with the center-right European People’s Party (EPP) group in the European Parliament and is the most active Ukrainian party in Strasbourg-Brussels. Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine is also a member of the EPP, but he has been persona non grata since 2008 after EPP leaders repeatedly criticized his attempts at undermining the Tymoshenko government. Tymoshenko –but not Yushchenko– attended the December 7, 2009 EPP meeting in Bonn where she was presented as “the future president of Ukraine” (???? ?????????. ????????? ????., December 9).

Yushchenko has used the Russian factor against Tymoshenko by raising three issues:

1. Claiming that she would indefinitely extend the Black Sea Fleet base in Sevastopol. Yet, among the main candidates only Yanukovych (EDM, November 3, 2009), Serhiy Tihipko and Communist Party leader Piotr Symonenko have supported this step. In addition, no elected president can unilaterally extend the lease beyond 2017, as this would require a constitutional majority to change the constitution to no longer ban foreign bases.

2. Alleging that Tymoshenko will sell off Ukraine’s gas pipelines. In February 2007 Tymoshenko mobilized 430 (out of 450) deputies to vote for legislation that bans every form of transfer of the pipelines. In March 2009 she signed an agreement with the EU to modernize the pipelines that excluded Russia, provoking protest by Putin. Four candidates have supported a gas consortium with Russia: Yanukovych, Tihipko, Symonenko and Arseniy Yatseniuk (EDM, November 20, 2009).

3. Arguing that Tymoshenko has backtracked from NATO membership, which appears far-fetched as none of the 18 candidates –including Yushchenko– mention NATO in their 2010 programs (EDM, December 15, 2009). NATO membership is on the backburner because support for this step has not increased during Yushchenko’s presidency. Yushchenko prioritized blocking Tymoshenko’s return to the post of prime minister in 2006 over the one realistic chance of Ukraine obtaining a Membership Action Plan, Ukraine-fatigue grew from 2007 in Europe and the US, while President Barack Obama is not pursuing NATO enlargement to the same extent as the previous administration.

Within the Tymoshenko team there are NATO supporters and Kuchma-era high levels of cooperation with NATO would revive if Tymoshenko was elected. If Yanukovych is elected, NATO membership would drop from the agenda and cooperation will decline compared to the Kuchma era.

The Russian factor diminished after Yushchenko’s last pre-election press conference, which transpired as an anti-Tymoshenko speech (www.president, gov.ua, Ãëàâíàÿ - Èíòåðíåò-èçäàíèå "Ïóáëè÷íûå ëþäè" - www.pl.com.ua, January 12). Yushchenko revived documents from the criminal case fabricated by Putin and Kuchma against Tymoshenko following the 2000-2001 Kuchmagate scandal to undermine her as an opposition leader. Kuchma was unsuccessful in making such charges stick; nevertheless, Tymoshenko became the only member of the Ukrainian elite who was ever imprisoned (February 2001) (Radio Free Europe, August 15, 2002).

Yushchenko argues that the “Moscow Coalition” (Tymoshenko and Yanukovych) are no different, and is calling on “patriotic Ukrainians” not to vote in the second round. Therefore, the election outcome will hinge on whether “Orange” voters will heed Yushchenko’s advice. Listening to Yushchenko would have the effect of dampening the turnout in western Ukraine and ensuring Yanukovych’s election (and possibly Yushchenko becoming prime minister). If they ignore Yushchenko’s appeal, Tymoshenko will likely be elected as Ukraine’s next president.
 

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