Prime Minister Valery Pustovoytenko has made public a Ukrainian government decision to complete the construction of the missile cruiser Admiral Lobov and to include it in the Ukrainian Navy under the name Ukraina. Pustovoytenko, who is slated to continue as prime minister in the new Ukrainian government, indicated that construction of the warship is 95 percent complete and will cost $50 million to finish. Kyiv’s decision means that it has dropped an earlier intention to sell the warship abroad for a hoped-for price in the range of several hundred million dollars.
Meanwhile, Russia announced yesterday that the capital repair of the missile cruiser Moskva, formerly known as Slava, is nearly complete. The warship is due this coming November to join Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Crimea as the fleet’s flagship. Completion of the overhaul necessitates a supplementary allocation of 164 million redenominated rubles. Timed to yesterday’s 215th anniversary of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the announcement recalled that the warship had operated in the Eastern Mediterranean during the 1980s against the U.S. Sixth Fleet.
Both ships have for years languished at Ukraine’s Mikolayiv shipyard: the Slava/Moskva under repair since 1990, and the Admiral Lobov/Ukraina under construction since 1984. Following the collapse of the USSR, Russia financed the costs of the former and Kyiv funded the latter. Cash-strapped Kyiv’s decision to forego the sale of its warship was probably taken with reluctance. The sale may have been forced by Ukraine’s need to avoid an excessive disproportion of forces vis-a-vis the Russian fleet based on Ukrainian territory. (Ukrainian agencies, May 13; Nezavisimoye voennoye obozrenie, No. 7, May 1998)
THE FAMED ARMENIAN COGNAC TO ACQUIRE FRENCH FLAVOR.