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Monday, December 7, 1998 Published at 12:50 GMT

World: Europe

Black sea fleet phones cut off over unpaid bill

A Ukrainian telephone company has shut down the lines of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the Crimean port of Sevastopol because the navy hasn't paid the bills.

The state-owned Ukrtelecomcompany says the fleet owes the equivalent of about one-hundred-and-forty-six-thousand dollars.

The Russian Black Sea Fleet has become Sevastopol's largest single debtor.

According to city officials, it owes about three million dollars for electricity, water and heat.

Russia is renting naval bases in Sevastopol following an agreement in 1996 to divide the former Soviet Black Sea fleet between Russia and Ukraine.

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