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Russia/Ukraine: Chernomyrdin Says Fleet Dispute Resolved

Kyiv, 28 May 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin says that a dispute with Ukraine on the deployment of the Black Sea Fleet has been resolved.

Chernomyrdin made the comment following talks today in Kyiv with Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma.

The Russian Prime Minister said three accords on the status of the fleet would be signed later today.

DPA says the plans specify that the Russian fleet will remain in the Crimea for another 20 years with the option of an extension. The agency says the planned accord commits Russia not to deploy any nuclear weapons in the region. According to the agreement, Sevastopol will remain the headquarters of the Russian fleet.

Yeltsin is expected to visit Ukraine on Friday and Saturday to sign a long-delayed friendship treaty.

The Russian president has not officially visited Kyiv since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. Chernomyrdin is expected to return to Moscow tomorrow.