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27 Apr, 2010 17:37

Both Russia and Ukraine benefit greatly from the deal - experts

The deal on Russia’s Black See fleet in Crimea brings massive benefits to Ukraine, whose economy is virtually bankrupt, says Vlad Sobell, a senior economist at the Daiwa Research Institute in London.

“It means $3-4 billion annually, and this is quite significant,” he said. “But we should also see an effect from the transit of Gazprom’s gas through Ukraine, which will improve Ukraine’s image in the West.”

Russia also benefits greatly from the agreement, above all in terms of security in the region, says Sergey Strokan, a political analyst for the Kommersant newspaper in Moscow.

“The situation in the Black Sea region remains very tense, and it was proven by the conflict of August 2008 that this region definitely needs a certain force which will serve as a bulwark of stability,” Strokan said. “The Russian naval fleet can definitely act as such force in a long-term perspective.”