Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 12

Differences between Russia and Ukraine erupted anew yesterday following a presidential summit in Moscow (see Monitor, January 17). Ukrainian foreign minister Hennady Udovenko said publicly after the January 16 summit that Yeltsin had agreed to decouple the dispute over the Black Sea fleet from his long-delayed visit to Ukraine, as well as from the conclusion of a Russian-Ukrainian framework treaty. However, a "top" Kremlin official reverted to the position that the visit and treaty signing would take place only after the fleet problem was completely settled. (15)

A key dispute centers on Moscow’s demands for exclusive basing rights in Ukraine’s port of Sevastopol. Yesterday Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov, currently a major political ally of Yeltsin, made a speech in that city that repeatedly described Sevastopol as a Russian city and outpost of the Russian state. There to hand over 420 apartments built by Moscow for Russian sailors based in Sevastopol, Luzhkov described Sevastopol residents as Russian citizens (almost all are legally Ukrainian citizens) and vowed that Moscow would never abandon the city. His speech came one day after Kuchma told Yeltsin in the Kremlin that "Sevastopol was beyond doubt Ukrainian." Also yesterday, Russia’s newly installed consul general in Odessa was quoted as saying he intended to grant Russian citizenship on a large scale to residents of nearby Crimea. Last year, a Russian consular mission who gave Russian citizenship papers to Crimean residents was asked by Kiev to leave the peninsula. (16)

OSCE Can Do Little in Moldova, Chairman Says.