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Ukraine/Russia: Sevastopol Remarks Won't Harm Ties

Kyiv, 21 January 1997 (RFE/RL) - Ukrainian Foreign Minister Gennady Udovenko says recent comments by Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov that the city of Sevastopol be returned to Russia should not harm relations between Moscow and Kyiv.

Udovenko told a press conference in Kyiv today that Russian-Ukrainian relations need not be based on the statements Luzhkov made during his visit to Sevastopol last weekend. Sevastopol, located on Ukraine's Crimean peninsula, is the home port to the disputed Black Sea Fleet.

But Udovenko said Luzhkov's remarks were made in what he called "bad form" and were "unacceptable" for Ukraine. He said he had sent a letter to Luzhkov before his visit asking him to refrain from travelling to Sevastopol.