Split over division of Black Sea Fleet

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The Independent Online
MOSCOW - The prime ministers of Russia and Ukraine were unable to reach agreement on dividing the Black Sea Fleet yesterday and left experts to thrash it out, writes Helen Womack. Viktor Chernomyrdin and his Ukrainian visitor, Yefim Zvyagilsky, had hoped for a quick deal on the Fleet: they believed this would help relieve tension over Crimea. Moscow and Kiev have agreed on the share-out of the ships which once belonged to the Soviet Union. The sticking point is where the vessels should be based: Moscow insists that when it leases the port of Sevastopol, the Ukrainian navy should quit it completely, while Kiev wants the right to maintain a presence.