“If the Ukrainian leadership pushes for NATO accession, the Crimea will demand reunion with Russia”, Communist lawmaker Leonid Grach warns. He said, however, that he is against its secession from the Ukraine, Mr Grach said in comments on 13 August to ZIK. The chief Crimean Communist claims there are no separatist feeling on the peninsula. Under no circumstances will the Crimea agree to the entry of the Ukraine into NATO. Besides, he points out, the Crimea should have a greater say in the NATO issue as, according to the Crimean constitution, foreign policy issues related to the peninsula are to be sorted out with the participation of Crimean representatives, Mr Grach added.
“The criminals that are the mouthpieces of the United States cashed in on the conflict in South Ossetia”, Mr Grach said. “The Ukraine proved itself to be a deceitful player, specifically, I mean the Ukrainian president, who backed Georgian President Saakishvili. This will carry a price for the Ukrainian people, who will face a reshuffle of Russia’s policy toward the Ukraine, in the form of higher prices for Russian gas and oil”.
Mr Grach is positive the Black Sea Fleet will stay in Sevastopol, even after the lease expires in 2017, explaining, “Luckily, neither Yushchenko nor Timoshenko nor Yanukovich will remain in politics by 2017. A new generation of politicians will come, and they will negotiate with Russia new terms for the lease, prolonging the use of Sevastopol by the Black Sea Fleet.
13 August 2008
http://zik.com.ua/en/news/2008/08/13/146853 (in English)