Ukrainian and Crimean lawmakers, meeting in Kiev on November 16, are reported to have reached agreement on almost all the disputed articles in Crimea’s draft constitution. The constitution was adopted by the Crimean parliament in November 1995, but the Ukrainian parliament objected to more than twenty of its provisions — on citizenship, state languages, and state symbols — and ordered Crimea to align those provisions with Ukrainian law. Deputy Speaker of the Crimean parliament Vladimir Klychnikov said compromises have now been reached on almost all the disputed points. For example, the article on citizenship now stipulates that "citizens of Ukraine who permanently reside in Crimea shall be citizens of Crimea." The words "republic symbols" will replace the term "state symbols," which was unacceptable to the Ukrainian authorities. Klychnikov said he hopes the amended constitution will be adopted by the Crimean parliament within two to three weeks. (Itar-Tass, November 16) If so, this should resolve a dispute between Ukraine and its predominantly Russian-populated autonomous republic that has at times seriously threatened to disrupt relations between Kiev and Moscow.
Georgian-Abkhaz Direct Contacts Disclosed.