Russia’s $40 billion gas-subsidy deal with Ukraine and a new 25-year lease for a Russian navy base may put paid to Ukraine’s NATO ambitions and lay the country open to Russian companies, analysts said.
Russia agreed to cut the gas prices it charges Ukraine by 30 percent, saving the former Soviet republic about $40 billion over the next decade. At the same time, Ukraine extended Russia’s lease on the Crimean port of Sevastopol, home to the Black Sea Fleet, until 2042, Bloomberg reports.
The agreement, signed on Wednesday by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, extends the lease on the Russian base in the port of Sevastopol for 25 years after the current lease expires in 2017, and may be further extended by another five years.
"As far as Russia is concerned, it is not only a question of the redeployment of the Black Sea Fleet or the construction of new coastal infrastructure, but also a broad array of issues related to understanding how friendly our neighbor is," Mikhail Zurabov said, according to RIA Novosti.
More than 3,500 people were detained during unprecedented mass protests that swept across all of Russia in support of Alexey Navalny on January 23