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Ukraine: Parliament Decides To Debate Relations With Russia

Kyiv, 6 December 1996 (RFE/RL) - Ukraine's Parliament today adopted a resolution (230 for and 38 against) calling for an immediate debate on the presence of Russian troops on Ukrainian territory. The resolution says the decision of Russia's Federation Council on Sevastopol is an attempt to make territorial demands on Ukraine.

Russia's Federation Council yesterday approved a non-binding resolution, demanding Ukraine hand over to Russia the Black Sea naval port of Sevastopol. The Federation Council resolution, which was approved 110-to-14, said Sevastopol is part of Russia, and that Kyiv had no right to govern it.

The Chairman of the Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, Boris Oliynyk, said the Federation Council resolution was the work of Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov.

The Federation Council resolution was proposed by Luzhkov, an ally of President Boris Yeltsin, and who is widely touted as a possible successor to the President. Luzhkov argued that a 1954 Kremlin decision to transfer the Crimean peninsula from Russia to Ukraine did not include Sevastopol which had a special status at the time.