Russia Insists on Treating Sevastopol as an Open Question

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Baev, Pavel K. (2008) Russia Insists on Treating Sevastopol as an Open Question, Eurasia Daily Monitor, 16 June.

Deep splits in Ukraine’s political elite and bitter animosity between Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko give Medvedev space to play hardball and assert himself as a true “defender” of national interests.

of achieving a demonstrable success, Medvedev might find himself trapped on a dead-end track, where the losses could be far greater than the costs of moving a couple of dozen rusty ships to an unprepared anchorage.

There is certainly far more to the Sevastopol problem than just the physical difficulty of moving the fleet, and Russian politicians, from Dmitri Rogozin to Yuri Luzhkov to Sergei Ivanov, have been arguing passionately during the last couple of months that there is not only no place but also no need to abandon the base at Sevastopol. The main context for this “patriotic” contest in scoring cheap points is the prospect of NATO enlargement that is portrayed as a grave threat to Russia’s security

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