Ukraine President Viktor Yushchenko has recognized what is at stake in the ongoing Russo-Georgian War (I say ongoing because there is no evidence that the Russians intend to stop killing anytime soon regardless of their protestations) even if our own government has had a great deal of difficulty in coming to grips that Russia has ceased being an ally, partner, or competitor and is now an enemy.
Ever since the Soviet Union gimped off into perdition the already moribund Soviet Black Sea Fleet has been slowly rotting in the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol. Until this week when it finally found a mission, blockading a defenseless nation.
According to the Jerusalem Post
Ukraine’s president says Russian navy ships that were deployed to the Georgian coast will need authorization to return to the base Russia leases from Ukraine.
President Viktor Yushchenko’s decree Wednesday requires Russia’s Black Sea Fleet to submit a request to return to its base in the Crimea 10 working days before its planned return.
Russia’s response is both ominous and expected. According to an independent news service based in Macedonia
Representatives of the Russian foreign ministry assessed it is a “politically motivated initiative of the Ukrainian president”. According to Moscow, that move is “not serious”.
“It contradicts all agreements between Russia and Ukraine that pertain to the Black Sea fleet”, representatives of Russian Ministry said.
Sevastopol is located in the Autonomous Region of Crimea(any familiar sounding terms here?) is nearly 60% Russian. Yushchenko understands, even if the West doesn’t, that these Russians, like those recently minted Russians in Georgia will soon need Russia’s “protection.”