Apr.06, 2014 | LA CRÈME DE LA CRIMÉE
Ukraine: Partly-Annexed, Fully-Invoiced
Ask anyone in the know about these things (anyone at Russia Today TV chanel preferably) and you'd find out that the Russians are by-the-book businessmen quite reverent to contractual obligation and the rule of law (the Russian law that is).
So picture the poor Gazprom execs amidst bearskin upholstered interiors, up to their ankles in paperwork, downing vodka shots and racking their brains trying to discover a legit way to retract or annul those (foolishly) contractually binding discounts on Ukraine's gas supplies. And all this under immense pressure by the Kremlin guys to sort it out asap, lest they are in the mood for a Siberian retreat for a couple of seasons. Imagine then the exuberant gratification and cries of joyous Ура! when someone (who later got a gift-basket with an autographed photograph of Putin fly-fishing) had the eureka moment they were vying for. He had noticed that one of those discounts was contingent on Ukraine renting them a measly Crimean port and realized that if they (the Russians) didn't need to rent it anymore then problem solved!
Of course, moving the whole Black Sea fleet would have been slightly inconvenient and stressful for the sailors so they went for the next best thing: Annexation. Now, some may say that seizing a chunk of another country and then charging them for doing so is a bit inconsiderate and cruel, but surely these people don't know anything about (Russian) fair business practices.