o bringing the activities of the Russian Black Sea naval fleet into compliance with the requirements of the Law of Ukraine "0n the procedure for admission and conditions of hosting the units of the armed forces of other nations on the territory of Ukraine;
o introducing monitoring violations of I he laws of Ukraine and the agreement that regulates the activities of the Russian Black Sea naval fleet formations on the territory of Ukraine;
o elaborating and implementing clear cut control mechanisms over the activities of the RF Black Sea naval fleet on the territory of Ukraine by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the General Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine, the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, other central and local bodies of executive power and local government.
As regards the economic pre-conditions, the whole range of challenging problems should be addressed:
Firstly, it is clear that proceeding from geopolitical and geo-strategic considerations Russia will use all possible leverage, in the first place economic tools, to maintain its military presence on the territory of Ukraine. One of the most effective levers in this respect is the use of strategic dependence of Ukraine on energy supplies from Russia. Therefore, the issue of diversification of energy sources is becoming critically important in addressing the problem of elimination of the Russian military presence and gaining the NATO membership by Ukraine.
Secondly, stationing of the RF Black Sea naval fleet on the territory of Ukraine is realised on lease-holding conditions as regards the land plots, facilities of coastal infrastructure and bay waters through annual repayments of part of the Ukrainian debt in the amount of US$ 75 mln. The total Ukrainian debt at the time of signing the Agreement was nearly US$ 2.2 bin. Over the past six years of lease holding the Russian side repaid US$ 587 mln. In the case of early withdrawal of the Black Sea naval fleet from the territory of Ukraine the issue of pre-scheduled repayment of the Ukrainian debt in the amount of US$ 1.5 bin will arise. Ukraine will not able to repay it within the short time-period without foreign assistance; Ukraine will need direct financial support from the USA and other NATO member-countries. Another way of repaying Ukrainian debts can be realised in the form of purchasing such debts from Russia by western countries or through repayment of Russian debts by NATO nations in exchange for the relevant liquidation of Ukrainian debts to Russia.
At the national level it is necessary to complete the inventory of all real estate and some plots of land leased to the Russian Black Sea Navy and to draw up a list of all those facilities and plots of land, which have not been included into the Addendum to the Agreement, but are still being used by the military units of the Russian Black Sea Navy. Additional agreements should be made providing for their lease and relevant lease-holding payments.
Sub-lease by the Russian Black Sea Navy of any facilities and plots of land, provided for its own needs according to the Agreement, to whatever profit-making businesses should be prohibited. In case of refusal by the Russian side to pay for additional lease it is imperative to demand that it should gradually release all the, docks, plots of land and other similar facilities for the use by the city of Sevastopol.
Thirdly, following the withdrawal of the Russian Black Sea Navy from the territory of Ukraine, the problem of providing jobs to those Ukrainian citizens who had serviced the Russian military units will be high on the agenda. Around 2% of the working population of the city of Sevastopol are now employed in the area of servicing the Russian Black Sea Navy. Therefore, early measures to address the problem of employment for these people should be envisaged in the State programme for economic and social development of the city of Sevastopol. The implementation of this programme should bring about a significant demilitarisation of the city.
And last but not the least, among the economic problems that would arise following the demise of the Russian military presence, we should expect the Russian side to claim compensation and/or grievances allegedly due to the lack of budget funds for re-deployment of the Russian Black Sea Navy from the territory of Ukraine to the Russian Federation. Russia will probably demand additional financial compensation or stretching out the time frame allotted for pre-scheduled withdrawal of its military units, or it will demand both.
Thus, the resolution of these very challenging issues related to the withdrawal of the Black Sea Navy from the territory of Ukraine, as Ukraine goes through the process of accession to NATO, will require their discussion on a trilateral or multi-lateral basis with the involvement of the leading NATO nations, first and foremost the USA.
There is another way of addressing this problem: through the signing of a trilateral agreement between NATO, Russia and Ukraine on maintaining the Russian military presence until the expiry of the Agreement about the status, terms and conditions for the deployment of the Russian Black Sea Navy on the territory of Ukraine, by stipulating all relevant military and political commitments. But even this option would require the establishment of conditions for the withdrawal of the Russian troops and this process should start no later than from the year of 2006.
Avery important component of Euro-Atlantic integration is the assessment of Ukraine's own readiness for NATO membership and the degree of its compliance with political and military criteria for such membership. In addition of how the Ukrainian public perceives Ukraine's accession to the Alliance.
The public opinion in Ukraine vis-a-vis the North Atlantic Alliance differs from public perception of NATO in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltics. The main difference is the lower support, percentagewise, for NATO membership as compared with the support for accession to the EU. Thus, for instance, the level of support for NATO membership in Ukraine, overall, varies between 19 and 33 percent while the support for accession to the EU is between 45 and 65 percent. By contrast with Ukraine, most countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltic countries show that the level of support for NATO membership, overall, surpasses that for accession to the EU. These findings can be explained by two factors. Firstly, the Ukrainian public opinion has retained a deep-rooted stereotyped image of NATO as a hostile and aggressive alliance, which goes back to the Soviet times, and, secondly, Ukraine still has a long way to go in order to qualify for accession to the EU