Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 24

Dispelling uncertainty that persisted until the last moment, Admiral Eduard Baltin yesterday received official notification relieving him of command of the Black Sea fleet. The order, in a telegram from Russian defense minister Pavel Grachev, followed a decree issued January 27 by President Yeltsin and a somewhat earlier joint decree signed both by Yeltsin and Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma. Baltin’s command will be transferred within ten days to Vice Admiral Gennady Suchkov. (10) Appointed in December 1992, Baltin became an irritant in Russian-Ukrainian relations because of his vocal opposition to the fleet’s division. Kuchma has sought his removal for at least a year, but until a few days ago Baltin maintained he had received no confirmation of reports about his dismissal. The change in command should help to clear the air between Russia and Ukraine as intensive efforts get under way to resolve the fleet’s problems once and for all (see below).

Eclectic Set Of Issues to Occupy Geopolitics Committee.