LUZHKOV, ZHIRINOVSKY CONDEMN UKRAINIAN PACT. Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov denounced the ratification of the RussianUkrainian treaty as "shameful," Interfax reported on 17 February. He said that he will let Russian citizens know just who voted for the "surrender" of Crimea and Sevastopol. And he suggested that the ratification might be declared "improper, immaterial, and unlawful" by Russian courts. Meanwhile, Liberal Democratic Party of Russia leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky described the ratification of the treaty as a "black day in Russian history" and said that the Federation Council acted as "a council of Russia's destroyers." Krasnoyarsk Governor Aleksandr Lebed was also among those who sharply criticized the ratification of the accord. PG

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT ALLOWS FORMER PREMIER'S PROSECUTION. The Supreme Council on 17 February voted by 310 to 39 to lift the parliamentary immunity of former Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko, Reuters reported. Before the vote, speaker Oleksandr Tkachenko read out a letter from Lazarenko saying that he checked into a clinic in Greece earlier this week with "heart attack symptoms." Ukrainian prosecutors accuse Lazarenko of embezzling more than $2 million in state property while he held state offices from 1993-1997. Lazarenko has repeatedly claimed that he is innocent and that the charges against him are politically motivated. JM

KUCHMA HAILS RUSSIAN RATIFICATION OF RUSSIA-UKRAINE PACT. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma on 17 February welcomed the ratification of the Russian-Ukrainian friendship and cooperation pact by Russia's Federation Council (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 17 February 1999), Reuters reported. At the same time, the Council decided that the treaty will go into effect only after Ukraine ratifies three agreements on the Russian Black Sea Fleet, based in Sevastopol. "I think that it won't take long for the Ukrainian parliament to ratify the [agreements] accompanying the pact," the agency quoted Kuchma as saying. (See also Russian reaction in Part I.). JM