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Year in review (by The Ukrainian Weekly) 1994

Year in review (by The Ukrainian Weekly) 1994

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www.ukrweekly.com The Ukrainian Weekly was founded in 1933 to serve the Ukrainian American community and to function as a vehicle for communication of that community's concerns to the general public in the United States. Today the English-language newspaper publishes news about Ukraine and Ukrainians around the world; its readership, though mostly North American, is worldwide. The Ukrainian Weekly's editorial offices are in Parsippany, NJ. It is published by the Ukrainian National Association, a fraternal benefit life insurance society, based in Parsippany, NJ. Read more at www.ukrweekly.com
www.ukrweekly.com The Ukrainian Weekly was founded in 1933 to serve the Ukrainian American community and to function as a vehicle for communication of that community's concerns to the general public in the United States. Today the English-language newspaper publishes news about Ukraine and Ukrainians around the world; its readership, though mostly North American, is worldwide. The Ukrainian Weekly's editorial offices are in Parsippany, NJ. It is published by the Ukrainian National Association, a fraternal benefit life insurance society, based in Parsippany, NJ. Read more at www.ukrweekly.com

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No.
52
THE
UKRAINIAN WEEKLY SUNDAY, DECEMBER
25,1994
з
^Ш^ШШ^ШШі:ШШШШ.
Ukraine
in 1994:a
year
of
changes
F
or Ukraine, 1994 was a year of changes, as thisvast, potentially rich and prosperous country ofnearly 53 million located in the heart of Europeelected a new president, struggled to elect a newParliament, and finally began to contend with its biggestdilemmas: a rusting nuclear arsenal, a stagnant economy,a restive autonomous republic in the south and an aggres–sive, imperialistic "big brother" to the north.After waffling on such issues as the future of itsnuclear weapons and a collapsing economy, Ukrainebegan making significant progress in these areas in1994 after Leonid Kuchma assumed office as Ukraine'ssecond president on July 10."The first government was more interested in politicsthan policy," says one Western analyst based in Kyyiv.Mr. Kravchuk talked about the challenge of construct–ing a state and reforming the economy, but did not quiteunderstand that after three years of a decaying nationaleconomy, only market reforms and hope for a better lifecould guarantee Ukraine's independence.To give credit where it is rightfully due, the govern–ment of Leonid Kravchuk put Ukraine on the map.independent Ukraine was recognized by over 150 states,but members of the nuclear club worried what wouldhappen if things got out of control in this, the thirdlargest nuclear power in the world.Pressure was put on Ukraine to give up its nuclear arse–nal,but its Parliament would not accede to the NuclearNon-Proliferation Treaty without security assurances, asticking point under negotiation throughout 1994.The year began with U.S. President Bill Clinton visit–ing Ukraine — for three hours — with a stopover atBoryspil Airport on January 12. it was to be an act ofgood will and, more importantly, a stimulus forUkraine to give up its nuclear arsenal. PresidentKravchuk joined Presidents Clinton and Boris Yeltsinon January 14 in Moscow and signed an agreementcommitting Ukraine to eliminate its 176 intercontinentalballistic missiles and some 1,240 nuclear warheads tar–geted at the U.S. and transfer them to Russia in returnfor guarantees that included economic support and inte–gration into a European security network."Should Ukraine's Parliament fully ratify START Іand join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, a multi-lateral agreement on security guarantees would besigned between the United States, Great Britain andRussia," said a Foreign Ministry spokesperson soonafter the meeting of Presidents Kravchuk, Yeltsin andClinton in Moscow.The Ukrainian Parliament agreed to review the issueof START 1, the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty,which it had passed with 13 conditions in November
1993.
Parliament lifted those conditions on February 3,approving a disarmament package that did not includeaccession to the NPT.The legislative branch underscored that STARTapproval was not to be considered an end in
itself,
but aprocess toward increasing Ukraine's security. The issuewould come up again and again in Parliament during1994. On November 16, the Ukrainian Parliament finallyacceded to the NPT by a vote of 301-8, but sought moresecurity guarantees from the nuclear club of nations.The newly elected president of Ukraine played aweighty role in getting his nation's Supreme Council toratify the long-stalled NPT on the eve of his visit to theUnited States. A former rocket scientist and director ofthe world's largest nuclear missile factory, Pivdenmash,Mr. Kuchma was persuasive in arguing that Ukraineshould become a non-nuclear state."Ukraine has no choice today on whether it should benuclear or non-nuclear. That choice has been made," hesaid, explaining that Ukraine had pledged disarmamentand non-proliferation in 1990, when it proclaimed itselfa non-nuclear state. "Further delays in reaching a decision, in my opinion, would lead to a situation where theworld community stops taking us seriously because wedo not know how to keep and execute our obligations,"he said.The security issue was finally resolved late in theyear when President Kuchma traveled to Budapest for aCSCE summit on December 5. "it's hard to overesti–mate the importance of the event that has just takenplace," said President Kuchma in Budapest after signingthe NPT and receiving security assurances from theUnited States, Russia and Great Britain. The French andChinese governments gave Ukraine the same assur–ances: to respect the territorial integrity and indepen–dence of Ukraine, reaffirm their obligation to refrainfrom the use or threat of use of force against Ukraine,except in self-defense. The memorandum presented toPresident Kuchma also stated that the nuclear powerswill refrain from economic coercion and, in the case.ofaggression toward Ukraine, the nuclear states will seekimmediate action via the United Nations SecurityCouncil. They pledged also not to use nuclear weaponsagainst any non-nuclear state party to the NPT treaty.Throughout 1994, the West had courted Ukraine,promising economic aid if it gave up its nukes.
U.S.
Defense Secretary William Perry visitedUkraine for the first time on March 23, promising Si00million for continued denuclearization, military conver–sion and housing for soldiers. During this historic visitto Ukraine, he viewed Pervomaiske, Ukraine's nuclearweapons site, where he was awed by about 100 missileswith almost 800 warheads targeted at the U.S. Mr. Perryalso confirmed that Ukraine was indeed keeping itspledge to remove its warheads to Russia,.Another offer made by the United States was a placefor Ukraine in the newly created NATO security net-work, the Parternship for Peace.Ukraine joined the PFP on February 8, in Brussels,becoming the first member of the Commonwealth ofindependent States to do so; it was the sixth Easternbloc state to join after Hungary, Poland, Lithuania,Estonia and Romania. Foreign Minister AnatoliyZlenko signed the document formalizing membership,calling it a "reasonable and pragmatic alternative to par–tial and selective NATO enlargement.""We strongly appreciate the open nature of the pro-gram and the absence of any intentions to draw newdividing lines in Europe," he said."By providing for specific and practical cooperationbetween NATO and Ukrainian forces, this partnershipcan foster an integration of a broader Europe andincrease the security of all nations," said PresidentClinton when he proposed the program, adding thatmembership in this program is the first step for anycountry that aspires to full NATO membership.But it wasn't only NATO that interested Ukraine, asKyyiv set its sites on integration into the EuropeanCommunity and such organizations as the Council ofEurope, the European Union, and sought a more formi–dable role in the Conference on Security andCooperation in Europe and the United Nations, in thelatter part of the year, as Ukraine began taking serioussteps toward reform, it gained the attention of theinternational Monetary Fund and the World Bank, twoinstitutions that will play a crucial role in Ukraine in
1995,
if indeed reforms do take off.The European Union expressed a desire for closerties with Ukraine on February 7, as it aimed to finalizean agreement on partnership and cooperation withUkraine. The accord was finally signed by PresidentKravchuk in Luxembourg on June 14. The aim of thedocument is to lay the groundwork for a widening free-trade zone in Europe, after an EU evaluation on theprogress of reforms in 1998.But, the EU's first real gesture of support came latein the year, on December 5 in Brussels, with a loan of3108 million to pave the way for an international rescueplan to help Ukraine with its balance of payments in thefourth quarter of 1994.in keeping with the January Tripartite Agreement,the U.S. government attempted to spur economic recov–ery in Ukraine, presenting a program specifically gearedto establishing an enterprise fund for Ukraine to stimu–late U.S. business investment and aid privatization onMay 5. Nicholas Burns of the U.S. National SecurityCouncil headed the delegation that included representa–tives from the Treasury Department, the Agency forinternational Development (USA1D) and the OverseasPrivate investment Corp. РІС).Economic reform in Ukraine was stagnant during thefirst half of the year, and it did not seem there would beany change when President Kravchuk appointed vitaliyMasol as prime minister. The Parliament approved thenomination on June 16, just 10 days before presidentialelections.Mr. Masol, 66, a former Communist, had held theposition of prime minister prior to Ukraine's indepen–dence, but was ousted by student strikes and large-scaleprotests in October 1990.Although many interpreted the Masol appointment asa way for Mr. Kravchuk to get Communist backing inthe upcoming elections, few were fooled by his declara–tion: "in order to get the government moving, 1 believehe is the only real choice."Parliamentary elections had been held a year earlierthan originally scheduled, in the hope that a new legisla–ture would speed up the pace of reform in Ukraine.Although the outgoing Parliament boasted quite arecord of activities, passing 402 laws and 128 resolu–tions in three years, it failed to adopt seven successiveeconomic reform packages presented by the govern–ments of Prime Ministers vitold Fokin and Kuchma in1991-1993.Many democrats had hoped that a new Parliamentwould be more pro-reform, but the partial Parliamentconvened on May 11 with 338 deputies seemed more
Author,
author
The articles in this special year-end issue of TheUkrainian Weekly were written by: The UkrainianWeekly
staff,
Roma Hadzewycz, Marta Kolomayets,Khristina Lew, Roman Woronowycz, Andrij Wynnyckyjand ika Koznarska Casanova; and our colleagues,Christopher Guly and Eugene iwanciw.
Marta Kolomayets
August 2: vice-President АІ Gore speaks upon arrival at Kyyiv's Boryspil Airport.
 
4
THE
UKRAINIAN WEEKLY SUNDAY, DECEMBER
25,1994
No.
52
ШШШШШІІШШШШШШШ
polarized. A complicated election law as well as voterburn-out — some went to vote nine times — made itcumbersome to elect people's deputies.The eastern regions elected a majority ofCommunists, Socialists and Agrarians, while the west–ern lands put democrats from myriad parties into office.Although there were 15 parties represented in the parlia–mentary elections held in spring, many of the candidatesran as independents. Once elected, the deputies formednine factions, including the Communist, Socialist,Agrarian, Yednist, inter-Regional Bloc, Center, Reform,National Rukh and Statehood (Derzhavnist). The largestfaction was the Communist bloc, followed by theAgrarians, thus the left continued to hold the mostpower in the new Parliament. Nonetheless, the irre–versible political restructuring of Ukrainian society hadbegun.it came as no surprise that Oleksander Moroz waselected Parliament chairman on May 18; the head of theSocialist Party won handily over vasyl Durdynets, gar–nering 171 votes. (He needed 170 to win the position.)Left forces also captured key positions in theParliament, chairing such influential committees as for–eign relations (Communist Boris Oliynyk) and defense(Socialist volodymyr Mukhin).Once elected, Mr. Moroz vowed to began the processof conciliation. "The one word by which 1 explain myfeelings is responsibility. І hope that we will be able towork to resolve the critical issues that have put thiscountry in the dire situation it is in," he said. But, withMr. Moroz at the helm, the leftist bloc in Parliamentcontinued to postpone discussing issues to energize theeconomy.The left wing managed to put a freeze on privatiza–tion before the Parliament adjourned for the summerholidays, and that moratorium was not lifted until earlyDecember. Privatization vouchers were delivered toUkraine on December 2, and Ukraine's citizens willbegin investing their privatization certificates in stateenterprises in early 1995.Democrats did have one significant victory onNovember 10, when the powerful Communist Party ofUkraine, registered as a new political organization inOctober, 1993, claimed that it was the successor of theCPU, the Communist Party of Ukraine which wasbanned during the coup of August 1991. The new CPUwanted to inherit the property and funds of the firstCPU, but the democrats managed to ban the first CPU,putting the issue to rest once and for all. The victory didnot come easily, as the issue was reviewed twice inParliament with the democrats charging violations invoting procedures.
The election of Leonid Kuchma
Leonid Kuchma was elected Ukraine's second presi–dent on Sunday, July 10, beginning a new era — forbetter or worse — in Ukraine, it was a close racebetween Mr. Kravchuk and Mr. Kuchma, defined by astark regional divide: the industrialized east pulled forcloser ties with Russia, while the nationalistic westpushed for independent Ukraine's acceptance into theEuropean community.Democrats worried that Mr. Kuchma would seekcloser ties to Russia. Although he said he wanted tobuild a strong, independent Ukraine, the more national–istic population in the western and central regions ofUkraine feared that once an economic union was signedwith Ukraine's northern neighbor, a political union,once again putting Ukraine under Moscow's watchful
eye,
could not be far behind."As president
of
Ukraine, 1 will always work in theinterests of Ukraine as a whole, not in the interests ofseparate regions," said the president-elect, just one dayafter his victory.
"The
first
thing 1 want
is national reconciliation.What has been done
during
this presidential marathon isa crime. To say there is confrontation between the westand east is a political game."
Mr.
Kuchma began his presidency by showing thathe was serious about economic reform. Just days afterhe assumed the country's top post, he met with MichelCamdessus, managing
director
of the international
Monetary Fund, who hailed the
election of Mr. Kuchma
and
said: "We now have a clear window of opportunityfor
action."
The
1MF
director said that during the next two
months the fund would work
with Ukrainian govern–
ment officials to help them deal
with such problems as
the inflation rate, stabilization
of the economy and liber–
alization of prices, in return for
unifying the exchange
rate, lifting export restrictions and raising energy prices,
the 1MF gave Ukraine a S365 million portion of apromised S730 million ''systematic transformation facil–ity" loan. Ukraine still is waiting for a "standby arrange–ment," which imposes stricter conditions but would giveUkraine another Si billion in exchange for the full free–ing of prices and a reduction of the budget deficit to 5percent of the GDP or less. (Currently the deficit isabout 20 percent.)it was not only the 1MF that wanted to help with eco–nomic reform, the G-7 (U.S., Great Britain, France,Germany, italy, Canada and Japan) leaders meeting inNaples on July 8-Ю, offered Ukraine an aid package ofS4.2 billion, including monies to shut down Chornobyland provide the young country with the opportunity toqualify for large loans from the 1MF and the WorldBank. Promoted by President Clinton, the packageawarded to Ukraine was conditioned on the implemen–tation of comprehensive economic reforms.By late October, President Kuchma had secured aSi.2 billion package in assistance from the G-7 coun–tries during a special economic conference held inWinnipeg. Another S2.2 billion could be forthcoming inthe new year, as the world's leading economic powershelp move Ukraine from a centrally planned economyto a market-driven capitalist system.Part of the success Mr. Kuchma has enjoyed in get-ting Western aid for the beleaguered Ukrainian econo–my was due to the fact that he is a stubborn and prag–matic leader who presented a program of radical reformto the Parliament — and had it approved.He won the support of a number of Western leaders,among them U.S. Yice– President Al Gore, who arrivedin Kyyiv on August 2, soon after Mr. Kuchma's elec–tion. Although his visit to Ukraine was only six hourslong, it was enough time to reaffirm America's commit–ment to Ukraine and extend an invitation from PresidentClinton for Mr. Kuchma to visit Washington in lateNovember."There is a new intensity being brought to the mutualeffort to improve the bilateral relationship between thetwo countries. A strong and prosperous and independentUkraine is a stabilizing force for peace in Central Europeand throughout the entire region," said Mr. Gore.vice– President Gore's visit to Ukraine was followed aweek later by a high-level U.S. delegation. The group,headed by Assistant Secretary of State James Collins andAssistant Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, spent twodays, August
10-11,
outlining concrete programs for secu–rity and economic cooperation between the countries.in order to reaffirm America's commitment toUkraine's independence, the American-UkrainianAdvisory Committee met in Kyyiv on September 24.The committee, which boasts such members asZbigniew Brzezinski, Henry Kissinger and GeorgeSoros on the American side and Deputy ForeignMinster Boris Tarasiuk, Deputy Prime Minister viktorPynzenyk, Economics Minister Roman Shpek and eco–nomics adviser volodymyr Lanovy on the Ukrainianteam, issued a communique that praised PresidentKuchma's "courageous decision to take charge of eco–nomic policy."A major step toward these long-delayed reformscame on October 19. After nearly nine hours of debate,a vote of 231-54 cleared the way for free marketreforms previously blocked by Communist lawmakers,and allowed Ukraine to free prices, reduce state subsi–
dies,
overhaul the tax system and push ahead with pri–vatization, including private land ownership."There is no going back to the Soviet Union,"President Kuchma warned Parliament members, in anhour long speech, he told lawmakers that Ukraine "is onthe verge of catastrophe," and there is no option otherthan his proposed program.Marking his first 100 days in office, he said onOctober 31: "1 will be uncompromising on two issueswith the Parliament: 1 will not back down from the radi–cal reform program and 1 will insist on strong executivepowers."Mr. Kuchma said that Ukraine would suffer throughits last, most difficult testing period and then promisedthat it would emerge as a country "worthy of our labor-loving people, our grand past, our children and ourgrandchildren."With inflation running over 70 percent in November,the karbovanets trading at 130,000 to the dollar (itshould be noted that the official bank rate of exchangeand the street market rate were merging as the yearended), unemployment up and industrial productiondown, the citizens of Ukraine wished that the testingperiod was nearing a close.
Currently, the average monthly wage
is
between
S10and S15; few people who work at state enterprises canafford to put meat, at S2.50 a kilo, on the dinner table.in order to move forward with economic reform,President Kuchma has placed heavy emphasis onstronger executive powers, issuing a draft law on divi–sion of powers, delineating the responsibilities of theexecutive, legislative and judicial branches of govern–ment, as well as local government, in effect, he hasdrafted a Small Constitution for Ukraine.Before it becomes legally binding, the document hasto be approved by the Parliament. This will be a majorissue in 1995, for it is unlikely the Parliament will allowthe president to be so powerful that he rules essentiallyby decree.Mr. Kuchma is determined, however, to have a newConstitution adopted, if not by the Parliament, then byreferendum. A Constitutional Committee, with repre–sentatives from the Parliament and the president, wasestablished on November 10 to move this process along.in the realm of economic policy, Mr. Kuchmaappointed viktor Pynzenyk, who served as the deputyprime minister under Mr. Kuchma's prime ministershipin 1992-1993, as first deputy prime minister in chargeof economic reform.Gennadiy Udovenko, who served as ambassador tothe United Nations during the days of the UkrainianSSR and as Ukraine's ambassador to Poland during thefirst years of Ukraine's independence, was named asUkraine's foreign minister on August 25 and confirmedby the Parliament when it resumed its sessions onSeptember 15. A senior statesman, he replaced AnatoliyZlenko, who was transferred to New York, where heassumed the post of ambassador to the United Nations.Dr. Yuriy Shcherbak was appointed ambassador tothe United States on October 21, after serving two and ahalf years as Ukraine's ambassador to lsraei. He left forWashington just weeks before President Kuchma's statevisit to the White House.President Kuchma also appointed Ukraine's first civil–ian to the post of defense minister, valeriy Shmarov, whohad served as Ukraine's deputy prime minister in chargeof the military industrial complex and defense conver–sion, was approved by the Parliament in October.Mr. Kuchma also decided to seriously tackle the prob–lem of corruption on a large scale; he appointed YevhenMarchuk, who had been the former minister of Ukraine'sSecurity Service (the renamed KGB), as deputy primeminister in charge of fighting crime and corruption.Recognizing the escalating problem of corruption on highlevels and the increasing crime rate, the UkrainianMinistry of internal Affairs addressed these issues, aswell as drug trafficking, during a weeklong internationalconference in mid–August.Among the first alleged criminals involved in gov–ernment corruption is Mr. Kuchma's successor as primeminister in 1993, Yukhym Zviahilsky, who is accusedof embezzling S25 million in state funds. Mr.Zviahilsky, currently in lsraei for medical treatment,was stripped of his legal immunity by the Parliament onNovember 15. The Ukrainian government is beginningto crack down on other officials; an investigation ofOleksander Tkachenko, the deputy chairman ofParliament, is currently in progress.Deputy Prime Minister Marchuk was busy also withthe issue of the Crimea and the Black Sea Fleet in thesecond half of 1994. The trouble on Ukraine's restivepeninsula began in January, when Yuriy Meshkov waselected president of the Crimea. He began his tenure bycalling a referendum on the Crimea's independence dur–ing elections to the national Parliament on March 27.Although the Ukrainian government labeled the referen–dum unconstitutional and President Kravchuk issued adecree on March 15, Mr. Meshkov continued to takesteps to get closer to Russia, including decreeing thatthe peninsula's clocks run on Moscow time.Although Mr. Meshkov began what seemed to be asuccessful campaign for secession from Ukraine, hestarted losing ground as Russian senior officials refusedto meet with him when he traveled to Moscow inFebruary. And the world community was on the side ofUkraine, as at least eight countries sent messages ofsupport to Ukraine, suggesting that the Crimean issue isan internal problem for Ukraine to resolve.By late May, Mr. Meshkov and the CrimeanParliament were working to adopt a Constitution that theCrimea, an autonomous republic of Ukraine, had original–ly approved in May 1992, but which had been suspendedby order of the Ukrainian parliament four months later.This charter would allow Crimea to form its own militaryforces, and to deal with Ukraine on the basis of treaties, as
well
as
introduce Russian as the state language.
 
No.
52
THE
UKRAINIAN WEEKLY SUNDAY, DECEMBER
25,1994
5
1994:
THE YEAR 1N REY1EW
With this began a game of one-upmanship, as theCrimea passed its own laws and Kyyiv kept demandingthat these laws comply with Ukrainian legislation.Although the Ukrainian Parliament ordered theCrimean lawmakers to retract the new Constitutionwithin a 10-day period, all they were able to get fromthe renegade peninsula's officials was a statementacknowledging that the republic is "a part of Ukraine,"and that "sections of their, Constitution do not corre–spond to Ukrainian law."On June 30, the Crimean Parliament passed a resolu–tion nullifying laws and resolutions passed by theUkrainian Parliament; it demanded that the UkrainianMinistry of internal Affairs stop interfering in the busi–ness of the Crimea and threatened to hold a referendumto define the republic's status.During national presidential elections, the voters ofthe peninsula came out to cast their ballots for LeonidKuchma, who received 89.7 percent of the Crimeanvote, primarily because they were convinced he wouldpromote closer ties to Russia.Talks continued between Crimean and Ukrainiandeputies throughout the summer, but on August 30, anewspaper reported that President Meshkov planned toissue a decree suspending the Parliament, effectiveSeptember 5. The decree was to bestow on PresidentMeshkov all legislative and executive powers of therepublic's government and be tested in a referendum.However, by September 7, the Crimean Parliamentresumed its session and by a wide majority passed a billdesigned to curtail President Meshkov's powers; later,working from the Procurator General's office, theParliament declared his decree unconstitutional.By mid-September, the Parliament in the Crimeapassed a law reorganizing the Crimean government.Crimean Deputy Prime Minister Yevgeniy Saburovresigned on September 16, and by the end of the monththe Crimean Parliament voted to remove PresidentMeshkov's powers as head of state.Deputy Prime Minister Marchuk, as well as membersof Ukraine's Parliament, spent a good deal of time inthe Crimea in the fall, as they negotiated with authori–ties to bring Crimean legislation into line withUkraine's and to mediate between the peninsula's twofeuding powers, President Meshkov and the CrimeanParliament chaired by Sergei Tsekov.President Kuchma refused to take sides in the politi–cal dispute and urged both branches to reach a "civi–lized solution." The issue seemed to simmer down whenAnatoliy Franchuk, Mr. Kuchma's daughter's father-in-law was appointed prime minister of the Crimeanrepublic on October 3. As The Economist wrote inNovember, "Nepotism-conscious Ukrainians assumethis means the Crimean problem is as good as solved."A cholera epidemic that had plagued the peninsulaand some southern cities of Ukraine during the autumnmonths was curbed by November, but not before itclaimed 20 lives and infected over 800 people. TheUkrainian government allocated over S650,000 to stopthe spread of the epidemic. Government officialsblamed it on contaminated drinking water and deterio–rating water systems.Deputies of the Sevastopil City Council voted onAugust 23 to give the city "Russian status," however,the Ukrainian Parliament on September 15 voted 303-5to cancel the City Council's decision declaringSevastopil Russian territory. The Sevastopil Council'sclaim was not supported by the Russian Parliament.This was not the first time the issue of Sevastopil hadbeen raised since the disintegration of the Soviet Union,in December 1992, the Russian Parliament laid claimsto the city, the home port of the Black Sea Fleet, how–ever, since that time, the new Parliament in Russia hasnot touched the issue.Negotiations between Russia and Ukraine on thedivision of the Black Sea Fleet have included this sensi–tive topic, with the Russian side claiming Sevastopil asthe base of
the
Russian navy.The Black Sea Fleet negotiating teams, headed byDeputy Prime Minister Marchuk on the Ukrainian sideand Special Envoy Yuri Dubinin from Russia, contin–ued round upon round of talks, usually talking in cir–cles. Fleet talks were cut short on a number of occasionsthroughout the year, ending in stalemates. The latestround, held in mid-December in Kyyiv, also collapsed.The Crimean Parliament voted unanimously onDecember
13
to appeal to the Russian and Ukrainian lead–ers to keep the Black Sea Fleet as a single entity, an oper–ational unit to serve the interests of
the
Commonwealth ofindependent States.it now seems that the Black Sea Fleet negotiationswill have to start all over again, and it is unlikely thatPresidents Kuchma and Yeltsin will meet for a summitand sign a charter on Ukrainian-Russian relations untilthis issue is resolved.Meetings between Messrs. Kuchma and Yeltsin havebeen delayed at least three times, with the latest scheduledfor early 1995 in Kyyiv. Russia has continued to show itsimperialistic fangs, as it has insisted on being mediator inthe West's dealings with former Soviet states.This was evident when Russia's Foreign MinisterAndrei Kozyrev made a surprise appearance before worldfinancial officials in Winnipeg in late October to pressRussia's case for a
role
in Ukraine's economic reforms.Again, at the CSCE meeting in Budapest, the Russiandelegation demanded that Ukraine submit yet anotherqualifying diplomatic note on its non-nuclear statusbefore agreeing to give Ukraine the security assurancesit had been promised.Although Ukraine has yet to enter any partnershipswith Russia, it became an associate member of the OSeconomic union on April 15, which gives it representa–tion in all structures of the C1S Economic Union, butlimits its role within the body to specific agreements.On October 21, the leaders of 12 former Sovietrepublics formed the interstate Economic Committee,forging closer economic ties between the countries ofthe former Soviet Union."There are two paths we can follow," PresidentKuchma told reporters in Moscow in late October. "Wecan continue doing what we have done until now — thatis nothing, or we can take the radical path. That's along-term program, but i'm counting on the soundminds of all the countries of the OS, in forming oneeconomic space."As the year drew to a close, the OS summit sched–uled for Alma-Ata had been postponed until February.And with war raging in Grozny, it was unlikely that OSissues would be a priority in the near future.Earlier this year, The Economist wrote that change isinevitable in Ukraine — but it might not be for the better,indeed, President Kuchma has warned that things will getworse before they get better for Ukraine's citizens. But, asUkraine did discover in 1994, the one thing more destabi–lizing than radical reform
is
too little reform."Ukraine could be the economic success story of
1995,"
says John Mroz, director of the institute forEast-West Studies in New York. Ukraine now has aleader committed to reforms, who has been able to woothe Western financial community and win pledges ofassistance, if he can persuade the Ukrainian Parliamentto see things his way and keep his northern neighborRussia at an arm's length from Ukraine's domesticaffairs, 1995
may
just be the year of Ukraine.
Elections... elections...
and
more elections
P
erhaps
1994
will be remembered as the year Ukrainegave up its nukes, or the year in which Ukraine wasfinally accepted
by the
West
as
a major player on theinternational scene. However, the reality of Ukraine 1994was elections... elections... and more elections — 6 bazil–lion rounds were held before we lost count.The electorate in some districts of Kyyiv went to thepolls eight times without successfully electing a deputy,voter turn-out diminished with each subsequent round.By November, 10 percent of the 450 seats still were notfilled and vast amounts of money already had beenspent. Foreseeing little benefit in continuing the impo–tent process, the Ukrainian Parliament decided toomuch is too much and suspended any further balloting.it was a year in which three major elections were heldin this fledgling country of 52.6 million people, each onegoing more than one round: two rounds before aUkrainian president was elected; two rounds before apresident of Ukraine's autonomous Republic of theCrimea gathered a majority of votes; and, of course, eightrounds and counting before a full Parliament is seated.
Crimea: elections amid violence and conflict
The first to exercise their franchise were theCrimeans. The autonomous republic, which wasincreasingly working according to its own agenda,scheduled elections to the republic's presidency forJanuary 16. Mykola Bagrov, president of the CrimeanParliament; Leonid Grach, first secretary of
the
CrimeanParliament; and Yuriy Meshkov, a member of the
Leonid Kuchma
Ukrainian Parliament, who formed the Moscow-cen–tered Republican Party of the Crimea, were the frontrunners, with Mr. Grach the overwhelming favorite.Mr. Meshkov upset all predictions by taking 38.5percent of the vote, more than doubling the tally for Mr.Bagrov, his closest competitor, who received 17.5 per–cent. Because no one candidate garnered the 50 percentvoter approval necessary, a run-off was scheduled fortwo weeks later between the top two finishers.However, it soon became apparent that Mr. Bagrovwas not actively campaigning. On January 18, he hadstated he was thinking about withdrawing from the race.His caution was not surprising given the violence thatsurrounded the candidates during the campaign. A dayafter his statement, his economic aide, iskanderMametov, a member of Parliament and a CrimeanTatar, was shot and killed while driving to meet Mr.Bagrov. in December 1993, an attempt had been madeto blow up Mr. Mametov's home.Other violent incidents included a December 1993beating of
Mr.
Meshkov, in which the assailants left himfor dead; the killing of the head of a small pro-Russianfaction of Crimean Tatars, Yuriy Osmanov, which wasfollowed by a retribution bombing of the building of theradical and pro-Ukrainian Crimean Tatar Mejlis; and thesuspicious death of Ukrainian parliamentarian YakivApter, the head of
the
political party Union in Support ofthe Crimean Republic, in a car accident.Most of the problems in the Crimea can be traced toits push towards Moscow, in this peninsula the effortwas not entirely unforeseeable, as about 70 percent ofthe population is Russian, many pensioners who retiredcomfortably to their Black Sea dachas, only to see thedeclining economy destroy their savings.Mr. Meshkov had called for closer ties to Russia,especially economic, a return to the ruble zone and theintroduction of Russian as the official language. Manyin Kyyiv thought he was a surrogate of Moscow in theCrimea, planted to set reunification in motion. Of thesix candidates, only Mr. Bagrov favored maintainingclose ties with Kyyiv.in the
run-off,
the 48-year-old Mr. Meshkov destroyedMr. Bagrov at the polls, 73 percent to 23 percent. Hequickly pointed out that he had never called for closerties to Russia. He said,
"1
am for a free Crimea, it needseconomic independence." He then officially called for anall-Crimean referendum on independence, which he pro-posed should be held in conjunction with elections to theUkrainian Parliament scheduled for March. He had ini–tially proposed the idea the night before the elections in asurprise appearance on Crimean ТУ.Mr. Meshkov enumerated four points of his agendaafter his victory: renew economic associations withMoscow; re-establish agricultural and heavy industrytrade with Russia; redevelop tourism. He called estab–lishing a ruble zone a secondary issue.The Crimean Tatars reacted strongly. The leader of theCrimean Tatar Meijlis, Mustafa Jemilev, called Mr,Meshkov's victory "the beginning of the Crimean Tatartragedy." He accijsefi
Mr.
Meshkov of stuffing ballots, butelection observers from the West — among them repre

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