Ukrainian presidential aides told Interfax-Ukraine August 31 that the package of agreements with Russia on dividing the Black Sea Fleet and on the status of its future Russian on Ukrainian territory must also include an agreement on Russian compensation to Ukraine for the use of bases and coastal infrastructure. These agreements must be signed at the same time, the officials said. They added that Ukraine favors a leasing period limited to between 10 and 25 years, while the Russian side wants its fleet to remain in Crimea for a longer period. Leonid Kuchma presented these positions in a letter to Boris Yeltsin August 30, the officials said. The linkage to the payments issue seems bound to drag out the negotiations, in which the time factor works in Ukraine’s favor.
Minsk Strike Leaders Released.