From Reuters: Ukraine may allow Russia to station its Black Sea Fleet in the port of Sevastopol beyond a scheduled withdrawal in 2017, Viktor Yanukovich, who won the presidential election last Sunday, told Russian television…
Ukraine fully depends on Russian energy while Moscow is keen to keep its fleet in Sevastopol — one of its last large foreign bases — seeing it as a certain guarantee that Kiev will not join NATO, a prospect raised by Ukraine’s outgoing pro-Western president, Viktor Yushchenko.
“We have to return to a friendly strategic format of our relations (with Russia) and work for the benefits of both countries,” Yanukovich told state television Vesti-24.
“It is very important that we study many questions, I would say in one package,” Yanukovich said, adding that he did not rule out that the Black Sea Fleet could be allowed to continue using Sevastopol after 2017.
Many analysts have said Yanukovich has to offer Moscow concessions on the Black Sea Fleet to persuade Moscow to lower gas prices to help Ukraine’s strained public finances.” (photo: Alexandr Mazurkevich)