Prevented from visiting Sevastopol last December because of a leg injury sustained while rehearsing a high-wire act in the Moscow circus, Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov finally landed safely in that Ukrainian city on January 17. Inaugurating a block of flats built in Sevastopol for Russian Black Sea Fleet sailors at the expense of Moscow municipality, Luzhkov reasserted with the usual vehemence that Sevastopol is a Russian city and that Kiev must negotiate with Moscow for the city’s retrocession. While Luzhkov’s statements to this effect have become routine, he was able to point out this time that Russia’s Federation Council has added its voice to the Duma’s in demanding the retrocession. Delayed for more than three hours at Simferopol airport before taking off again for Moscow, Luzhkov charged that the Ukrainian authorities behaved in a "non-good-neighborly" and "non-brotherly" manner toward him. Luzhkov’s visit inspired two small Russian nationalist rallies in Sevastopol. Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry lodged a protest in Moscow over Luzhkov’s "inflammatory statements." (Itar-Tass, Russian TV, Interfax-Ukraine, January 17-18)
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