Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 48

The first stage of the Black Sea Fleet’s partition, involving the ships and other movable assets, is due to be completed in the coming days. The Russian and Ukrainian fleet commanders, Vice Admirals Viktor Kravchenko and Volodymyr Bezkorovainy, agreed March 4 in Sevastopol to avoid confrontation and seek compromises in the second stage of the fleet’s partition, which will tackle its coastal infrastructure in Ukraine. But military officials said in Kiev that working groups of the two countries’ Defense Ministries had disagreed on essential issues at a negotiating session in Moscow. Each side claimed most of the fleet’s coastal assets for itself, with the Russian side additionally claiming all installations in Sevastopol. The Ukrainian parliament meanwhile is considering a draft law "On the status of foreign armed forces temporarily present in Ukraine," stipulating that such presence requires Ukraine’s consent expressed in an interstate agreement and that the forces must withdraw within three months if Ukraine denounces the agreement. (10)

The sides also differ sharply over the legal and financial terms of the Russian fleet’s use of Ukrainian coastal infrastructure and over basing arrangements in Sevastopol. The issues are unlikely to be resolved by the early April date tentatively set for Boris Yeltsin’s long-delayed official visit to Ukraine. Yeltsin has thus far conditioned that visit on the prior resolution of disputes over the fleet.

Ukrainian-Romanian Treaty Thwarted.