and Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed last May in Kyiv, after five years of negotiation. The treaty, which legislators fairly described as historic, guarantees Ukraine’s independence and sovereignty in its present borders. The treaty is valid for ten years with automatic ten-year extensions unless denounced by either side. The Russian parliament will take up ratification when its next session begins in February.
The treaty drains much of the tension from Russo-Ukrainian relations, but it leaves many issues unresolved. Final demarcation of the border is still to be negotiated, as are division of the Black Sea fleet; Russian basing rights at Sevastopol in the Crimean peninsula; reciprocal treatment of ethnic minorities; division of assets and liabilities of the former Soviet Union; and return of Ukrainian deposits in the Soviet Vneshekonomobank, now in Russian hands. The two presidents will discuss these issues at a summit next month, when a ten-year economic-cooperation agreement is to be signed.