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February 23, 2005

Comments

George

I knew this list of world oil transit chokepoints (http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/choke.html -- "Nearly 90% of Russia's natural gas exports to Europe are routed through Ukraine") would come in handy, as well as this Ukraine profile (http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/ukraine.html) ...

Andy

I think it's a bit much to automatically assume that Ukraine's entry into NATO (or the EU for that matter) would necessarily mean that Russia would be booted out of its Black Sea naval base in Sevastopol.

I'd suggest that the US would instead put a lot of pressure on Ukraine to actually keep the base there. The US knows that the Russian navy is, frankly, about as much threat to it as my grandma in a rowboat. Keeping Russian a Russian military base in a NATO member country would actually encourage closer links between the two militaries.

Nicholas Weininger

A small quibble, but: denying Russia the Sevastopol base would not in fact deny it access to the Black Sea; the Krasnodar region has a Black Sea coast, and I believe at least one city on that coast (Novorossiisk) is a port of some magnitude.

Abiola Lapite

"the Krasnodar region has a Black Sea coast, and I believe at least one city on that coast (Novorossiisk) is a port of some magnitude."

But how much would that mean in an almost entirely NATO [(Turkey + Ukraine + Georgia (?)] lake? Keep in mind that safe passage for the Russian fleet through the Baltic was reason enough for Peter the Great to go to war to grab the Leningrad region, while one reason Stalin went to war with Finland was to prevent being blockaded by the German navy (as eventually happened).

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