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A Story of Ukraine and of the Russian Naval Base in Ukraine

This informative article shows that International treaties have to be consistent with national and international law if they have to represent the interests of the country and its people.

On the 21st of April 2010 in the city of Kharkiv in Ukraine, President Victor F. Yanukovich of Ukraine and President Dmitry A. Medvedev of the Russian Federation signed The Agreement where the period of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation to remain on the territory of Ukraine is extended for 25 years, from 2017 to 2042 with an automatic prolongation for 5 additional years.

In Ukraine, The Agreement caused indignation of the opposition, of parties of ecologists, of local Councils and in general of all segments of the Ukrainian society. A great number of analyses concluded that The Agreement contradicts the Constitution of Ukraine.

The Association of Independent Jurists and Journalists “The Democratic Space” decided to examine The Agreement and the legal grounds both for The Agreement and against it. The research focused on whether The Agreement fell in compliance with the applicable standards established by the current Ukrainian legislation and binding norms of the International Law. So, the whole article of this is based on the findings of the Association’s “Analysis of The Agreement between Ukraine and the Russian Federation pertaining to questions of presence of The Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine”.

The current Ukrainian and International laws that apply to this Agreement are:

1. The Constitution of Ukraine.

2. An agreement (named the Basic Agreement) between Ukraine and the Russian Federation “On the Status and Conditions for the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation to Remain on the Territory of Ukraine” dated 28.05.1997.

3. An agreement between Ukraine and the Russian Federation “On Parameters of the Black Sea Fleet Division” dated 28.05.1997.

4. An Agreement between the Governments of Ukraine and of the Russian Federation “On Mutual Calculations Related to the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation Division and to Remaining on the Territory of Ukraine” dated 28.05.1997.

5. The Law of Ukraine “On the International Treaties of Ukraine” dated 29.06.2004.

6. The Law of Ukraine “On the Order of Access and Conditions for Sub-Units of the Armed Forces of Foreign States to Remain on the Territory of Ukraine” dated 22.02.2000.

7. The Vienna Convention “On the Law of Treaties” of 1969.

An Examination in the aforementioned Analysis by the Association’s President determined that:

1. The Law of Ukraine “On the International Treaties of Ukraine”. foresaw that an International treaty of Ukraine might be extended due to the conditions established by the treaty itself;

2. The aforementioned Basic Agreement, concluded for a period of 20 years, by Article 25 envisages its prolongation only for 5 year periods providing that the period of its effect would be further automatically prolongated for subsequent 5 year periods unless any of the parties advised the other party in writing of the termination of the Basic Agreement’s effect no later than a year before an expiration of the Agreement’s period of validity”. It means that, from the day of an expiration of the valid 20 year period, the term could be extended only in 5 year increments.

In our case, as we see, the 20 year validity term of the aforementioned Basic Agreement, did not come to an end and hence as it is obviously seen, the legal grounds for its prolongation did not exist in 2010. Since the Basic Agreement does not foresee a prolongation of the agreement for more than a 5 year period, its prolongation for a period of 25 years by The Agreement, does not have any valid grounds.

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Vacation in Alushta For the Active Or Passive Traveler

For all the millions of tourists each year, and for all the countless thousands of places they can visit, there really seems to be only two reasons people travel: We seek relaxation, or we seek experiences. People in the first group tend to vacation on beaches and at resorts. Think warm water, massages, lounge chairs and exotic drinks. But the second type of traveler, the one seeking novel experiences, he’s more active. He rides a gondola in Venice, walks along China’s Great Wall, and pays homage to the Mona Lisa in the Louvre. Whether you seek a passive vacation or an active one, you can meet either goal on a trip to Russia or Ukraine.

The Former Soviet Union is hardly the first place you’d think of when considering a beach vacation. But take out a map and have a look for yourself: Ukraine, for example, has a huge peninsula jutting into the Black Sea. It’s called the Crimea, and its southern coast is nicknamed the Russian Riviera. Resorts abound in the Crimea, in coastal cities like Yalta, Alushta, Sudak and Sevastopol, and the Mediterranean climate brings a steady stream of tourists throughout the summer. Luxurious sandy beaches, though, are few and far between in this area. Instead, pebble-strewn beaches are the norm. But what you lose in comfort, you gain in the beauty of the terrain. Dramatic, rocky cliffs loom over these beach towns like ancient Gods of granite.

Not that Ukraine has a monopoly on Crimean resorts. If you’re intent on visiting Russia, consider one of the resorts in Sochi. The future host of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sochi has been getting its act together in the tourism industry. Like the resort cities of the southern Crimean, Sochi is also dominated by mountains which create an amazing backdrop. Sochi’s beauty is further enhanced by a word-class botanical garden which itself is worth the trip.

For those travelers wanting a more active vacation, the F.S.U. is still an excellent choice, and off the thoroughly beaten path of central Europe. Take St. Petersburg, in the northwest of Russia. This city has as much to offer as any of the European giants, with the bonus of offering a far more interesting story to tell. Does anyone bat an eye anymore when you say you’ve been to Paris or London? But tell them you’ve just returned from Russia, and you’re bound to raise some eyebrows.

In St. Petersburg, you’ll probably start by exploring the water-lined streets which earned St. Petersburg the name “The Venice of the North,” and then make your way along the along the shops of Nevsky Prospect to the city’s grand jewel, The Hermitage. One of the largest museums in the world, The Hermitage is home to countless treasures, all housed in the spectacular Winter Palace. Palaces are everywhere in and around this former Russian capital, another of which is also an absolute must-see. Often called “The Russian Versailles,” the grounds of the Peterhof palace are lined with incredible fountains. The interior is also a staggering display of wealth and design, making the palace as spectacular as any in the world.

An eight-hour train ride almost due south brings you to the current Russian capital, Moscow. With a population of nearly nine million people, Moscow can be overwhelming at first. Stay as close as you can to the Kremlin, the city’s center, and you’ll be fine. From there you can experience walking in Red Square, the staging ground for all those massive cold war demonstrations of Soviet power. Still in Red Square, be sure to have someone take your photo as you stand in front of the colorful, almost childlike St. Basil’s cathedral – perhaps the ultimate icon of Russia. If you’re standing with your back to St. Basil’s cathedral, look to your right and you’ll see a long decorative building which borders Red Square. It looks like yet another palace but is actually a grand shopping mall…though be warned: Its prices are as high as its arched glass ceiling. For a more affordable shopping experience in Moscow, make your way to the walking street of Novi Arbat. It’s a great place to find souvenirs and do plenty of people watching. The truly adventurous should make their way around Moscow by subway, the stops of which themselves are considered a travel destination.