Ukrainian environment and nuclear safety minister Yuri Kostenko announced November 3 that Ukrainian and G-7 negotiators had completed talks in Kiev by signing a memorandum on the closure of Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear power plant by the year 2000, and on G-7 aid to Ukraine to offset the closure costs and energy losses. Besides the aid measures known to be planned (see November 3 Monitor) the sides also discussed how to increase the capacities of Ukraine’s Rivno and Khmelnitskaya nuclear power stations, Kostenko said. The memorandum is not legally binding. The sides will soon hold further talks on a precise timetable for Chernobyl’s closure, a final figure for the aid, and a schedule for the delivery of the aid by the G-7 member countries.(16)
Ukraine has come down substantially from the $4 billion request submitted last April, and is also committed to the target date in the year 2000 for the closure. But Kiev officials want to correlate the closure and aid schedules, and also want to see how the aid will be apportioned among the G-7 individual governments. Kiev seeks guarantees from the governments because they are legal entities, whereas G-7 is not.