Last year’s decision to prolong the deployment of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimea was justified by the complicated situation in the country President Viktor Yanukovych said, talking to veterans at the Ukrainian Public Medical and Social Center in the village of Tsybli, Kyiv region. 

Viktor Yanukovych stressed that the difficult situation demanded unusual steps, one of which was signing the agreement with Russia on the Black Sea Fleet deployment in Crimea. 

The President reminded that this decision resulted in a $100 lower price of gas per 1 thousand cubic meters for Ukraine. "Had we not done it last year, we would have lost our country’s whole industry," Viktor Yanukovych said, adding that it was about the mining, metallurgical and chemical industry. 

He reminded that according to the agreement on the Black Sea Fleet deplyment in Crimea of 1996, Ukraine was receiving $98 million annually, and after 2017 this document could be prolonged every 5 years. 

"We did not wait for 2017 because we had to think how to live in 2010 when the country barely breathed," he said. 

The President noted his personal responsibility to the state and millions of its citizens. "I did it deliberately to save the country, boost the economy," Viktor Yanukovych said. 

He, moreover, reiterated that according to the new agreement the Russian side will be paying $4 billion annually for the deployment of its Black Sea Fleet in Crimea. 

Commenting on the accusations of the opponents to the document, the President expressed surprise that they had been silent when in 2009 Ukraine had signed an extremely disadvantageous gas contract. 

"All of us, the whole country was made hostage to the agreement. We were all cornered so hard that it is unthinkable," he said. 

In this context, the President reminded that the issue of renegotiation of the gas agreement of 2009 still remains unresolved. "That is the issue which is important, not the Black Sea Fleet," Viktor Yanukovych said.


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