GEORGIA ISSUES DECREE ON PIPELINE SECURITY. Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze has issued a decree instructing an interdepartmental commission of the National Security Council to take the appropriate measures to ensure round-theclock security of the Baku-Supsa oil pipeline, "Nezavisimaya gazeta" reported on 25 March. Meeting last week in Tbilisi, the Georgian and Azerbaijani defense ministers, Davit Tevzadze and Safar Abiev, signed a protocol on conducting joint exercises in Ukraine in April. Taking part in those exercises will be Georgian, Azerbaijani, and Ukrainian battalions deployed to guard that pipeline, Caucasus Press reported. LF

UKRAINE EXTRADITES BOMBING SUSPECTS TO UZBEKISTAN. The Ukrainian government has extradited to Uzbekistan four Uzbeks apprehended in Kyiv earlier this month on suspicion of involvement in the 16 February bomb attacks in Tashkent, Interfax and AP reported on 24 March, quoting an Ukrainian Interior Ministry official (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 18-19 March 1999). Human Rights Watch had earlier appealed to Kyiv not to undertake such action. LF

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT URGES GOVERNMENT TO RECONSIDER NUCLEAR STATUS... The Supreme Council on 24 March passed a resolution asking the government to prepare legislation on renouncing Ukraine's non-nuclear status. The resolution was passed after "virtually all factions" condemned the NATO decision to use force in Yugoslavia, AP reported. Ukrainian presidential spokesman Oleksandr Martynenko commented that "the president is the only person" to regulate foreign policy and security issues. He added that the government can implement parliamentary decisions on these issues only after they "are agreed on with the president." In his opinion, the decision to revise Ukraine's nuclear status "was induced by emotions and not by considerations." JM

...RATIFIES BLACK SEA FLEET AGREEMENTS WITH RUSSIA. The parliament also voted by 250 to 63 with five abstentions to ratify the three agreements on the Black Sea Fleet, which were signed by Leonid Kuchma and Boris Yeltsin in May 1997. While approving the Russia-Ukraine 1997 friendship treaty last month, Russia's Federation Council conditioned its implementation on the ratification of the Black Sea Fleet agreements by Ukraine. Under those accords, Russia will keep 460 naval vessels belonging to the fleet, while Ukraine will have 162 ships as well as $526 million compensation from Russia. The Russian part of the fleet will be based in Sevastopol until 2017. JM