Skip to comments.Why Putin Will Get Everything He Wants in Crimea
Posted on 03/08/2014 12:05:03 PM PST by shepardspie33
Even before the Crimean parliament voted unanimously today to ask Moscow for permission to become a part of Russia, Russian forces had all but completed the process of establishing a new reality on the ground in Crimea that the region simply isnt under the control of the central Ukrainian government in Kiev anymore. And so, barring a major military response by the Ukrainian Army or a massive Russian excursion into Eastern Ukraine, it looks like Putins end game is about to unfold.
Many analysts have made mention of the Russian naval base at Sevastopol and how, as Russias main warm-water naval installation, it is of key importance to Russia. Negotiations with Ukraine over Russia's continuing operation of the base have gotten tense in the past, although a 2010 agreement gave Russia a lease until 2042.
Just to be safe, however, Russia has been quietly building a potential replacement at Novorossiysk, a commercial port a couple hundred miles east that has the notable distinction of actually being in Russia. It could house the Black Sea Fleet if Russia were to lose Sevastopol, and further expansion of naval facilities there could reduce or even eliminate Russian dependence on Crimea.
If the Russian Navy stays in Sevastopol, and Crimea stays in Ukraine, Ukraine would almost certainly be blocked from joining NATO. Ukraine has been trying to join for years to protect itself from
well, from this. However, a country cant join NATO if it has a foreign military base on its soil. So, if Russia stays in Sevastopol and Crimea stays in Ukraine, it means Ukraine cant join NATO. This is a positive for Russia, because it makes it easier to lean on Ukraine in the future, especially if Kiev gets a little too buddy-buddy with Europe.
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