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Kleintje Pils say the performance will be a 'signal'

No such thing as a free game of beach cricket with the KGB

I would like to take this opportunity to get something off my chest that has been bothering me for a long time.

Death hangs over Black Sea: Polluted by the effluent of 16 countries, it is now the 'most damaged sea in the world'

THE Black Sea is dying. For all their boisterous calls to commuters struggling home through the rain-streaked traffic of Istanbul, even the fishmongers in the little harbours along the Bosporus know it. The silver fish glittering under arc-lights barely fill two of the five rows of red barrel-tops ranged behind them. Few people stop. In a country whose 4,400 miles of coast have made fish a staple for millenniums, even a kilo of local red mullet now costs a week's minimum wage.

Bunhill: Barging in

ANY DAY now, Nick Saunders will be venturing across the Channel at the wheel of one of his two traditional narrow boats, the yuckily named Unspoilt by Progress I and II. This is only part-way through his boat trip from the Black Country to the Black Sea via the Grand Union Canal and sundry European rivers.

Woman heads Russian bank

Moscow - Russia's Prime Minister, Viktor Chernomyrdin, was reported to have resigned, but this was dismissed as an 'absurd rumour' by his office, writes Andrew Higgins. Ekho Moskvy, an independent Moscow radio station, said Mr Chernomyrdin, on holiday in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, had quit for health reasons. It quoted 'informed circles close to the Russian President'.

Turkey stirs up a storm in the Bosporus: Curbs on waterway traffic anger old salts

RIDING at anchor in the morning mist at the mouth of the Bosporus, Captain Stoika Giorgiu of the Romanian supertanker Biruinta said he was simply trying to exercise his right of free passage, as guaranteed in the Montreux Convention.

Pembroke: Battler of the first water

Things are looking up for Diana Scott, who used to chair Ofwat's customer services committee in Yorkshire. A consumers' champion in the traditional mould, the outspoken Ms Scott is trying to clamber on to the board of Yorkshire Water in the interests of local tap users.

Departures: Late availability

Sunworld (0532 393020): 31 August, Gatwick-Cuba, 14 nights B & B at Santa Lucia, pounds 499; 31 August, East Midlands-Rhodes, 14 nights self-catering, pounds 299; 1 September, Bristol-Malta, seven nights half-board, pounds 299; 5 September, Manchester-Majorca, seven nights B & B, pounds 189.

Kidney treatment

(First Edition)

Split over division of Black Sea Fleet

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.

Deal sinks for Black Sea fleet

SEVASTOPOL (Reuter) - Negotiations between Ukraine and Russia on dividing the Black Sea Fleet ended in failure yesterday, with the Russian delegation storming out of talks, Ukraine's Defence Ministry said. A spokesman said the talks foundered on where to base the two sides' naval forces. He said Pavel Grachev, Russia's Defence Minister, tore up an agreement on splitting the fleet reached earlier in the day. Mr Grachev said the two days of talks at Sevastopol, the fleet's headquarters, produced 'no results'.

Russian 'armada' scare enlivens Black Sea saga: Helen Womack in Moscow on how Ukraine repelled the latest attempt to take over the old Soviet fleet

NOT the Black Sea Fleet again] Didn't the Russians and the Ukrainians settle that dispute months ago? The row between the two republics over how to share out 300 largely obsolete ships seems as petty as the squabbling of boys over toy boats in the village pond.

Presidents test the water with new pact on Black Sea Fleet

BORIS YELTSIN and Leonid Kravchuk yesterday reached their fourth agreement since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 on ways of sharing the Soviet Black Sea Fleet between Russia and Ukraine. But it remained to be seen whether the latest deal would be more lasting than the previous three, which have all foundered when the time came to put them into practice.

Black Sea Fleet row moves close to brink: Yeltsin and Kravchuk try to mend fences as relations between Russia and Ukraine hit a new low

RUSSIA and Ukraine sparred with each other again yesterday but stopped their row over the Black Sea Fleet from coming to blows in the hope that a summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States today may produce a solution.

Moscow-Kiev relations hit rock bottom

A SURGE of support for pro- Moscow Communists in Ukraine's parlimanetary elections and a sharp rise in tempers over the disputed Black Sea fleet yesterday pushed relations between Russia and Ukraine to perhaps their lowest ebb since the end of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Ukraine sends troops to Crimea

MOSCOW - Ukraine sent top military officials and more special troops to the Crimean Peninsula yesterday amid fears of an impending crackdown on separatists.
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