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Russia/Ukraine: U.S. Regrets Council Resolution On Black Sea Port

Washington, 10 December 1996 (RFE/RL) - The U.S. State Department has expressed regret at a move in Russia's upper chamber of parliament asserting Russian control over Ukraine's Black Sea naval port of Sevastopol.

Russia's Federation Council last week approved a non-binding resolution saying Sevastopol is part of Russia and demanding that Ukraine hand it over.

A U.S. State Department spokeswoman said today it is similar to a resolution passed by the Duma last month and that "the United States regrets these actions."

She said the United States fully supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its current internationally recognized borders. She said these include the Crimea and Sevastopol.

The spokeswoman noted that as a member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Russia is obliged to observe OSCE principles which include respect for territorial integrity within current borders.

She said "statements by any official body in any OSCE member state that call into question these basic principles are not constructive."

The spokeswoman said the United States urges the governments of both Ukraine and Russia not to undermine what should be an orderly process of negotiations over the Black Sea fleet.