Tensions Grow Between Russia and Ukraine

Diplomatic talks highlight the strain in relations over the Crimea region.

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There was more evidence Thursday of the uneasy relationship between Russia and Ukraine in the aftermath of Moscow's invasion of neighboring Georgia.

In talks in Kiev, Ukrainian officials again insisted that Russia must honor an accord to have Russian Navy ships leave the Black Sea base of Sevastopol when the lease expires in 2017, according to the Associated Press. Moscow does not want to leave the strategic port on the Crimean peninsula and has offered to pay more to continue using it.

The Ukrainians also warned Moscow against encouraging separatist groups in Crimea, which has a largely ethnic Russian population that has its roots in the period when the area was part of Russia.

Russian security services were involved with pro-Russia separatist groups in neighboring Georgia preceding Moscow's invasion. Since then, there has been growing concern of a similar clash in Ukraine, which is seeking to join the NATO alliance to cement its relations with the West and to be protected under NATO's common defense umbrella.

U.S. News reported recently on the growing tensions in a story headlined "Is Ukraine's Crimea the Next Flash Point With Russia?"