President Leonid Kuchma enjoyed two political victories last week, his first good news in many months. In Moscow, Russia’s Federation Council, the upper house of parliament, ratified the Russia-Ukraine treaty by a vote of 106-25. The 1997 treaty, which Kuchma signed with Boris Yeltsin, recognizes Ukraine’s authority over Crimea and Sevastopol. The bill of ratification requires that Ukraine ratify agreements on basing rights for Russia’s Black Sea fleet before the treaty takes effect, but Kuchma expects no problems…. In Kyiv, Ukraine’s parliament voted 310-39 to strip parliamentary immunity from former Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko, who is accused of embezzling some $5 million and stashing it in a Swiss account. Lazarenko is free on bail from detention in Switzerland, where he was arrested while traveling on a Panamanian passport. He is now thought to be in New York, and Ukrainian prosecutors have asked American immigration authorities to return him to Ukraine. Earlier this month, the Hromada party chose Lazarenko as its presidential candidate. The presumable collapse of that campaign strengthens President Kuchma, a still undeclared but highly likely candidate for re-election.