has made many trips to Moscow, but last week’s trip was the first state visit to Russia by any Ukrainian president since independence. The pomp and circumstance marked a real improvement in formal relations. The countries signed a treaty last May recognizing existing borders, and in February they signed a ten-year cooperation agreement that lowers barriers to trade and investment. But basic problems in political and economic relations remain.
The Russian parliament has not ratified the May treaty, and many Russians do not accept its terms. One of these is Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov, who reiterated last week his contention that Sevastopol in Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, administratively Russian in the Stalin era, should be Russian still. A spokesman for President Yeltsin quickly repudiated Luzhkov’s views, saying Sevastopol is a "non-issue" that was settled in the treaty.
The economic questions are largely energy-related. Ukraine is deeply in debt to Russian monopoly