Instead of Sevastopol - Baltiysk

As reported by Tizhden (Ukraine): "The July heat was absolutely not noticed in Ukrainian-Russian relations: neither towards warming nor towards any normalization. On the contrary, it is increasingly necessary to watch for increased frost and increased stress."

Almost the best illustration of this is the cancellation of the meeting of the intergovernmental commission and the constant postponement of meetings between the presidents of Ukraine and Russia. Here and another meeting in Sevastopol did not take place. Although it would seem, the best informational reason is not to be found.

After the signing of the Kharkiv agreements, the Black Sea Fleet of Russia on Ukrainian territory remained almost the only evidence of any remnants of the strategic partnership of the two countries.

If we consider the events related to the presence of the Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine as a positive in bilateral relations, then this weight, which is constantly decreasing, cannot in any way outweigh the pood weights of the problems associated with this process.

It turns out that the leaders of our two countries have nothing to talk about. Accordingly, it remains unclear what exactly President Yanukovych and his Russian counterpart will be discussing at the newly appointed meeting in Sochi. There, the head of the Russian state will spend his “working holiday”. In the last phrase, two completely opposite concepts are connected. Which one is true?

Fire and water do not combine. If Medvedev invited Yanukovych to rest, then state affairs will not be discussed a priori, and if this is a working meeting, then how is the vacation. There is a certain ambiguity in this all, which reflects the whole essence of our relations as if in a drop of water. Apparently, in the administration of the Ukrainian president they do not think too much about protocol features and symbols. And in vain. Not surprisingly, in the whole world, it is to the characters and protocol procedures that much attention is paid. After all, Yanukovych goes to Sochi not as a private individual, but as a representative of the state, and therefore the head of the country should take good care of his authority. This is not at all trivial, as it would seem to some of the administration and the entourage of the Ukrainian president.

Ukrainian problems

Almost all international observers and experts see the main reason for canceling Medvedev's visit to Sevastopol in hydrocarbons, more precisely in gas problems. As a source in the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine told the Kommersant newspaper, the main condition for the participation of the Russian side in the meeting was the signing of specific agreements on the merger of Gazprom and Naftohaz on Moscow terms. “Since it is not profitable for Ukraine: the visit will not be. Although, given the current state of Russian-Ukrainian relations, we are interested in any contact between the presidents, regardless of whether the contact ends with the signing of any documents or not. ”

Without question, the gas issue is quite acute, but only the problems of Russia and Ukraine are not limited to them. Although much less is said about this, there are more than enough difficulties in the Azov-Black Sea region. Not so long ago, more precisely in June, the Russian Foreign Ministry commented on the Sea Breeze 2011 exercises and the entry into the Black Sea to participate in the US missile cruiser Monterey with the Aegis anti-aircraft missile launcher.

Particularly annoying to Moscow is the fact that in opposition, the Party of Regions regularly disrupted such exercises, and, having come to power, it regularly conducts them. And there they suspect that in this way Ukraine is slowly but surely preparing for rapprochement with NATO.

Later in the press there were reports that representatives of Ukraine discussed in Brussels the issue of security in the Black Sea region, in particular, the future location of the Black Sea Fleet and anti-missile systems in the Crimea. What is especially insulting to Russian diplomacy. And it is precisely this, according to some experts, that does not correspond to their understanding of strategic partnership. As if someone constantly informs Kiev about the topics that Russian representatives are discussing in Brussels.

Given the state of Russian-American relations and the problem of missile defense, the issue of the Black Sea region is no less problematic than gas issues. By and large, no one is against the concerted actions of the two strategic partners, but only under two specific conditions. First, action must really be strategic. Secondly, everything should happen only on the basis of reciprocity. If there is no reciprocity, then hope for its appearance is useless.

If we add to all the difficulties in the sphere of trade, measures against Ukrainian goods and manufacturers, then, most likely, what we have now cannot be called a strategic partnership, but a strategic competition.

Russian problems

The question arises: why Baltiysk became the substitute for Sevastopol. But the main purpose of Medvedev’s visit to this base of the Baltic Fleet was to visit the new most western state residence near the city of Pionersky. In this residence (a guard sentry from the sea, and the Voronezh-DM radar from the air), the head of the Russian state spoke with the Kaliningrad governor Nikolai Tsukanov.

Kaliningraders asked the president to dismiss the regional government, and they don’t like the governor very much. "The region is actually governed by officials with a criminal past, the region dropped out of all vital federal targeted programs ... to please the authorities, relict forests are being erased from the face of the earth, the infrastructure of the village of Amber is destroyed by barbaric mining of amber ... We believe that under the circumstances the government Kaliningrad region should resign. And the decision on the further fate of such a pseudo-governor is, of course, to be made to you. ”

In such a situation, the president decided that it was more important to come to the Kaliningrad region, as the situation there quickly deteriorates. And so in many regions. At the joint primaries of the party "United Russia" and "All-Russian Popular Front" (ZNF) scandals flare up. Current State Duma deputies end up as outsiders voting and accuse the party of manipulating the results. It happened in Buryatia, Amur and Novosibirsk regions. In the last favorite was the director of the zoo Rostislav Shilo, who did not speak at all with election speeches. At the same time, the governors of the Volgograd region Anatoly Brovko, the Saratov region - Pavel Ipatov and the Penza region - Vasily Bochkarev did not make the lists for primaries.

Despite the vertical of power, a smooth flow, the so-called primaries fail, and tensions in the regions are growing stronger.

Taking into account what is happening, external factors take on particular importance in the election race, which ones are gaining momentum in Russia. Now no one in Moscow will dare to show “weakness” and compromise with Kiev. Even if Medvedev wanted this, he cannot do it through the reasons mentioned above. Therefore, there is every reason to believe that the next meeting in Sochi will end in the same way as the previous ones.
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