Russia has always had a difficult time accepting Ukraine as an independent state -and even more trouble acknowledging Ukraine's sovereignty over the Crimea and the port of Sevastopol. The signing of an interstate treaty in 1997 recognizing the Russian-Ukrainian border paved the way for a compromise twenty-year Russian lease of the Sevastopol navy base for the Black Sea Fleet. Several factors have unraveled this compromise, including Russia's desire to reestablish itself internationally as a Great Power, the 2004 Orange Revolution, and the 2008 Russian invasion of Georgia. Taras Kuzio addresses these factors and more in an in-depth analysis of Russian-Ukraine relations and the future of the Crimea and the port of Sevastopol.
Taras Kuzio is an Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation Visiting Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations School of Advanced International Studies at John Hopkins University, USA. He also edits Ukraine Analyst.