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THE WEEK AHEAD

MOSCOW : Splitting the Fleet

June 06, 1995

Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin and Ukrainian President Leonid D. Kuchma plan to meet Friday in the southern Russian port of Sochi to attempt once again to divide their jointly controlled Black Sea fleet.

Yeltsin says preparations for the summit are "proceeding tensely." The two nations have agreed to split the ships in the former Soviet fleet between Moscow and Kiev, but Yeltsin insisted that the Crimean city of Sevastopol remain the base for the Russian portion of the fleet. Ukraine has said it would lease Russia a base in Sevastopol, but not allow the entire city to become a Russian military compound.

Failure to reach an agreement this week could worsen relations already strained over Ukraine's crackdown on separatist attitudes in pro-Russian Crimea.

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