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MOSCOW POLICE SAY FOREIGNERS ARE BEATING EACH OTHER UP. More than 1,500 crimes were committed against foreign citizens in Moscow during the first five months of this year, Moscow Police Major Yurii Yudin told reporters on 18 June, RIA-Novosti reported. However, Yudin contends that only 5-7 percent of these crimes were committed by Muscovites and that most them are committed by members of various foreign diasporas. Yudin also reported that foreigners committed 6,701 crimes during this period. Ukrainians led the list with 2,067 crimes, compared to 1,116 crimes by citizens of Moldova and 788 by citizens of Tajikistan. Meanwhile, a Chinese diplomat was beaten up a group of hooligans in Moscow on 11 June, "Komsomolskaya pravda" reported on 18 June. "We did not expect that this sad, but in our view routine, event [would] attract such attention from the Russian media," the Chinese Embassy commented in a statement. "Chinese people living in Moscow long ago got used to the risk of encounters with adolescent-hooligans who frequently do not know the nationalities of their victims. For example, last year, when the Russian soccer team lost to Japan, Moscow fans struck several Chinese and Korean citizens." JAC
KYIV SAYS LAND-BORDER ACCORD WITH BUCHAREST 'UNBLOCKS' BILATERAL RELATIONS. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Anatoliy Zlenko said on 18 June that by signing the agreement on the Ukrainian-Romanian land border the previous day (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 18 June 2003), both presidents "have unblocked the situation that existed in Ukrainian-Romanian relations," Interfax reported. "The most fundamental issue [is that] we confirmed the state-border line determined by accords of 1947 and 1961," Zlenko said. The minister added that the 2003 border agreement contains provisions that make its revision impossible. Commenting on the dispute over Serpent Island (Zmiyinyy Ostrov) in the Black Sea, Zlenko said the issue was settled by a Ukrainian-Romanian treaty in 1997 (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 9 May 1997). "Under the treaty of 1997, the island belongs to Ukraine; the issue has been settled and closed," he said. Meanwhile, upon returning to Bucharest, Romanian President Ion Iliescu said he hopes the agreement signed with Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma will facilitate an understanding over the outstanding issue of Serpent Island, Romanian Radio reported on 18 June. The same source added that Foreign Minister Mircea Geoana said the sides are as far apart on the issue as ever. JM
POLAND CLOSES LIST OF FOREIGN TROOPS FOR ITS MISSION IN IRAQ. Polish Defense Minister Jerzy Szmajdzinski said on 18 June that the list of states sending contingents to join the international division under Polish command in Iraq has been closed after Spain declared a deployment of 1,100-1,300 troops (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 13 June 2003), PAP reported. "We still want to go to Kyiv and meet commanders there to pass as much information as possible to the Ukrainians, since they are to bear a great deal of responsibility by having control over Wasit Province, where they will be in command of their brigade," Szmajdzinski said. Earlier this month, the Ukrainian parliament approved sending up to 1,800 peacekeepers to the Polish sector in Iraq (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 9 June 2003). In total, 20 states declared that they will contribute troops to the Polish-led division of some 7,000-8,000 servicemen in Iraq, including Bulgaria, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Hungary, Honduras, Dominican Republic, and El Salvador. JM