Russian Communist leader and presidential candidate Gennady Zyuganov, Duma chairman Gennady Seleznev, and other Russian Communist parliamentarians conferred in Kiev February 26 and 27 with the Ukrainian parliament’s socialist chairman, Oleksandr Moroz and Socialist and Communist party leaders. The visitors sought to reassure Ukraine that Russia’s Communists would respect Ukrainian independence and seek friendly ties if they win the Russian presidential election. Yet Zyuganov and Seleznev mixed the signals by claiming that Ukraine had been "fully sovereign in the USSR," warning against "making a fetish of sovereignty," and predicting the voluntary formation of a new and powerful Union "with which everyone on this planet will have to reckon."
Moroz and other Ukrainian leftists found common ground with the visitors in criticizing Yeltsin’s and Kuchma’s economic policies, urging statism, and opposing NATO’s enlargement. Nevertheless Moroz appeared to stand up for Ukrainian national interests in the discussions on Crimea, the Black Sea Fleet, and the draft interstate treaty. Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma, who has all but endorsed Boris Yeltsin’s candidacy, and the Ukrainian government demonstratively ignored the Russian Communists’ visit, and the national-democratic camp denounced it. (14)
Turkmenistan Modernizes Oil Refining.