1997 Russia-Ukraine friendship treaty: 1) Russia recognized Crimea as part of Ukraine 2) Russian Black Sea fleet would stay in Crimea on a 20 year lease — renewed for 25 more years in 2010 3) Ukraine would not join an anti-Russia organization - People in eastern Ukraine overwhelmingly oppose NATO membership - Protests against the 2004 election results — the “orange revolution” resulted in a pro- West government from 2005-2009, which south NATO membership - Yanukovych won the 2010 election. Russia-Ukraine relationship improved significantly - Yanukovych government declared it would not seek NATO membership , enacted a law to protect the Russian language, and extended the lease for Russian Black Sea fleet, in return for discount price for Russian natural gas - Ukraine’s economy was in very bad shape and dependent on Russia for energy - The Crimean issue made situation more complicated The Crimean Issue - Crimea was part of Russia until 1954, when Khrushchev gave to Ukraine — an “administrative” change at the time. Russia has maintained that it was unconstitutional - A movement for separation from Ukraine occurred when Ukraine became independent - About 65% of the population is ethnic Russian. Most residents speak Russian as first language. Many held Russian passports and wanted Crimea to rejoin Russia - People in Crimea overwhelmingly opposed NATO membership for Ukraine 6
Tuesday, June 6, 2017 Protest/uprising that overthrew Yanukovych, and Russian intervention - Triggered by his backing off of a deal with EU and turning to Russia for financial aid. The EU deal had economic and political conditions that were rejected by Ukraine’s parliament on November 21, 2013. Yanukovych subsequently decided to put off signing the deal with EU - Mid February 2014: Situation became out of control, nearly 100 people were killed, and Yanukovych fled Kiev on February 21, 2014. Why couldn't the protestors wait for the scheduled 2015 presidential election? - The opposition takeover in Kiev caused protests in eastern regions - Russia refused to recognize the opposition takeover of Ukraine’s government - March1, 2014: Russian forces, assisted by local militia, took over Crimea - March 6, 2014: Crimea’s parliament voted to secede from Ukraine and rejoin Russia - March 16, 2014: A referendum on the parliamentary decision: 95.5% voted for it - NATO viewed this as an act of aggression. Russia claimed it has the right to protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine, and the people of Crimea had the right to self- determination - US and EU imposed limited sanctions on Russia. NATO-Russia relationship has been in deep crisis since then - April 2014: pro-Russia militia groups took over government buildings in Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv regions, and declared three new republics. Ukrainian security forces subsequently regained control of Kharkiv - May 11, 2014: Donetsk and Luhansk regions held referendums. Both claimed overwhelming support for independence from Kiev - May 26, 2014: newly elected Poroshenko ordered the Ukrainian military to retake the two breakaway regions -
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