Ukrainian prime minister Yevhen Marchuk announced yesterday in Kiev that the Russian-Ukrainian intergovernmental cooperation commission ("Chernomyrdin-Marchuk Commission") had, at its inaugural session in Moscow the preceding day, confirmed that Russian president Boris Yeltsin would pay his much-delayed official visit to Ukraine in early April and sign the long-negotiated interstate treaty. The commission was said to have reached general understandings on some contentious issues, including: general terms of the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s status in Ukraine and its basing in Sevastopol; the Russian handover to Ukraine of several buildings for diplomatic missions abroad, representing part of Ukraine’s due share of the ex-USSR’s foreign assets; the opening of Russian consulates in Simferopol and Kharkiv and Ukrainian consulates in St. Petersburg and Vladivistok; the formation of several joint industrial companies, mainly in the metallurgical sector; and modalities of reimbursement of Ukraine’s debt to Russia, currently evaluated at $5 billion. The terms for leasing naval bases and coastal facilities to the Russian fleet in Ukraine have not been agreed upon and may be referred to the presidents for a final decision. (Interfax-Ukraine, March 21)
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