Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 202

Indian defense minister Mulayam Singh Yadav might not have been able to buy a Russian aircraft carrier during his recent visit to Moscow (see the Monitor, October 23) but the Indian authorities on October 24 managed to take custody of one in their own coastal waters. The 30-year old helicopter carrier "Moskva" was being towed by a Russian tug from Sevastopol to Alang, India, where it is to be cut up for scrap. Indian Coast Guard vessels ordered the tug and its tow into Bombay harbor in an incident in which some warning shots had to be fired by the Indians. It seems that the Russian tug, the "Stakhanovets," was chartered by a Dutch firm to deliver the Moskva to Alang, and it is this Dutch firm with which the Indians have a grievance. The whole matter has now been turned over to a Calcutta court. (RIA Novosti, October 25)

The Russian Navy knows enough to accommodate one of its prominent backers, and although the helicopter carrier Moskva is no longer part of the fleet, the name has been transferred to a Slava-class cruiser of the Black Sea Fleet. Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov has been a strong supporter of the navy and at his urging the city administration allotted six billion rubles to repair this cruiser. Moscow is also building 300 apartments in Sevastopol for Russian naval officers.

Ukraine for Unrestricted Trade in CIS and with Russia.