Ein Krieg zwischen Russland und der Ukraine „könnte in der sehr nahen Zukunft passieren, sicherlich nicht später als 2017, wenn die russische Schwarzmeerflotte Sewastopol verlassen wird, wenn der Pachtvertrag mit der Ukraine diese „Stadt der russischen Militärehre“ zu nutzen, ausläuft“. Dies schreibt George Bovt, politischer Kommentator in Moskau, in einem August Paper, veröffentlicht von einem EU-Russland Think Tank.
“What exactly is going on in Russian – Ukrainian politics?,” asks Bovt. “Nobody can give a precise answer nor can they explain what really provoked the strongly-worded statement of Russian president Dmitry Medvedev on August 11th.”
In this statement, Medvedev denounced Viktor Yuschenko, the Ukrainian president, for his anti-Russian policy and announced that “the new Russian envoy to Ukraine would remain in Moscow for the time being.”
Bovt explains that Ukraine and Russia still have diplomatic relations but these are in their worst state since collapse of the USSR: “The two countries are much closer to the war today than they have ever been during the post-Soviet period.”
The political commentator underlines that “surprisingly” Medvedev’s statement gave political assistance to Yuschenko – whose popularity is very low – because of Russian president’s “aggressive tone”.
“Russia’s overall understanding of relations with Ukraine is […] potentially dangerous,” Bovt warns. “For the Russian ruling elite Ukraine is, in many ways, ‘the last bastion’, which Moscow just can not allow itself to surrender”.
“This means that Moscow would probably do ‘whatever it takes’ to prevent its neighbour from falling into the sphere of Western influence,” Bovt insists. “Even though Russian politicians recognise the territorial integrity of Ukraine and its integration of the Crimea peninsula, deep in their hearts they have not accepted the idea. Neither has the vast majority of the Russian population.“
“I do not believe that any of the current Ukrainian politicians, if they became the next president of this country, would resolve this existential problem for Moscow,” he writes. “None of them would voluntarily give up Ukrainian sovereignty.”
According to Bovt, “there is no solution to this serious problem (for Russia) in the context of bilateral Russian-Ukrainian relations, or even multilateral Russia-Ukrainian-European relations.”
War between the two countries is the only “option for resolution,” he concludes.