Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 70

. According to Ukrainiandeputy foreign minister Konstantin Khrishchenko, staff-level talksin Moscow last week on dividing the Black Sea Fleet moved towardagreement on some of the main points regarding the legal statusand terms of stationing in Ukraine of Russia’s share of the fleet.Those points include the number of ships, a numerical ceilingon Russian naval personnel, the procedure for setting up restrictedaccess areas, and conditions for transporting Russian fleet propertywithin Ukraine. There was no agreement on the duration of baseleases. Moscow wants longer leases than Kiev is prepared to accept.Financial issues, including rents to be paid by Russia for usingUkrainian sites, were not discussed. The problem of Sevastopolwas deferred to high-level talks. No date was set for such talks.

The staff-level talks in Moscow replaced a planned meeting ofthe Prime Ministers which was aborted both because of substantivedifferences, and because of political snubs administered by theRussian to the Ukrainian naval command, which triggered protestsfrom the Ukrainian government. Khrishchenko, who led the Ukrainianstaff-level delegation, told Interfax-Ukraine August 8 that theatmosphere at the Moscow talks was "difficult, though betterthan earlier." On August 7, Russian naval command sourcestold the same press agency that rents and fees currently chargedby Ukraine for use of shore resources are consuming the lion’sshare of the Russian-controlled fleet’s budget, forcing it toforego repairs and maintenance and causing the ships to wear outfast in the absence of any replacement prospects.

Inonu In Belarus