Russian defence minister warned a defiant Kiev yesterday that attempts to review the status of a key Russian naval base in Ukraine could reignite a potentially dangerous border row.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, who is resisting Russia's demand for a nearly five-fold increase in gas prices in 2006, has hinted Ukraine could hit back by reconsidering the terms of leasing the Sevastopol base in the Crimean peninsula.
"The agreement on the Black Sea fleet base is one part of a bilateral treaty, the second part of which contains recognition of mutual borders," Sergei Ivanov said in televized comments. "Trying to revise the treaty would be fatal." [Emphasis added]
Now isn't that an interesting comment.
The link is here.
Let's review the situation. Ukraine has the Orange Revolution and Moscow's candidate gets tossed out on his apparatchik rump. Moscow then decides that it is going to violate the agreement that Ukraine's gas bill would climb steadily to market prices in 2009. Then Ukraine stated it would like to raise the transit tax and review other agreements with Russia (like the Black Sea Fleet basing, frex). Russia then sabre rattles. 'Fatal' mistake is pretty strong diplomatic language...
The mask slipped off there.