UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT FAILS TO INCREASE ITS POWERS. Opposition proposals to increase the powers of the parliament have failed to win support in an initial vote, Unian reported on 28 August. The three proposals were aimed at boosting the authority of the legislature at the expense of the executive and judicial branches and included the power to override a presidential veto by a simple majority. The proposals also aimed to limit the powers of the Constitutional Court and give the legislature the right to interpret the law. Nationalist lawmakers and centrists loyal to President Leonid Kuchma had criticized the proposed changes.
UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT ON BLACK SEA FLEET DIVISION. Kuchma said on 28 August that he is satisfied with the pace of the turnover to Ukraine of part of the former Soviet Black Sea Fleet. Kuchma made the remark following talks with Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeev in Kyiv, Interfax reported. Kuchma said Ukraine has no problems with the division of the naval force under the agreement signed by Moscow and Kyiv in May. Sergeev, who concluded a threeday visit to Ukraine on 28 August, said Russia is fully abiding by the transfer timetable. Under the May agreement, Russia is ceding part of the former Soviet Black Sea fleet to Ukraine, while Moscow has the right to use most of Sevastopol port over the next 20 years as the base of its Black Sea Fleet.