UKRAINE, RUSSIA MARK NAVY DAY IN SEVASTOPOL. The Russian and Ukrainian fleets on 30 July marked Navy Day in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol. The celebration was attended by Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, former Russian Prime Ministers Yevgenii Primakov and Viktor Chernomyrdin, Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov, and Russian and Ukrainian admirals. Navy Day is celebrated on the last Sunday in July in Russia and on 1 August in Ukraine. Kuchma said he participated in the celebration to "reaffirm Ukraine's course toward constructive, peaceful, and friendly measures with regard to Russia," AP reported. JM

MOSCOW MAYOR WANTS UKRAINE-RUSSIA BRIDGE OVER KERCH STRAIT. During his visit to Sevastopol, Luzhkov signed a cooperation agreement with the Crimean authorities that provides for expanding Russian tourism to Crimea and boosting cultural exchanges and various joint business projects. In a separate document, Luzhkov and the Crimean authorities set up a company to build a railroad and automobile bridge over the Kerch Strait, which separates Crimea from Russia and is only some 6 kilometers wide at its narrowest point. JM

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT MEETS PUTIN. President Petru Lucinschi was in Moscow on 28 July for an "informal meeting" with Russian President Vladimir Putin, RFE/RL's Chisinau bureau reported, citing the Moldovan presidential office. At that meeting, Lucinschi proposed that Russia, Ukraine, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe draw up a joint plan for the coordination of the Russian troop withdrawal from the Transdniester. Before his departure from Chisinau, Lucinschi had set up a Commission for Coordinating State Policies in the Transdniester. That body is headed by Vasile Sturza, presidential representative to the negotiations with the separatists, and includes several deputy ministers. The decision to set up the commission comes on the heels of the recent setting up of state committees in Russia and Ukraine for advancing the Transdniester negotiations. MS