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Ukraine: Yeltsin's Spokesman Rejects Comments On Sevastopol

Moscow, 20 January 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russian President Boris Yeltsin's spokesman has dismissed recent comments by Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov that the Ukrainian city of Sevastopol should be returned to Russia.

Spokesman Sergei Yasterzhembsky told reporters today that Luzhkov's statements about Ukraine's Crimean peninsula and its port city of Sevastopol are his own and do not reflect Russia's official view. He said Russia supports the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

During a weekend visit to the Crimea, Luzhkov said Sevastopol, home port to the disputed Black Sea Fleet, should be returned to Russia. Ukraine's Foreign Ministry yesterday issued a protest to Russia over the mayor's statements, saying they infringed on Ukraine's territorial integrity.