Russian first deputy prime minister Anatoly Chubais conferred on November 14 in Kyiv with President Leonid Kuchma and other Ukrainian leaders in preparation for Kuchma’s informal meeting with Boris Yeltsin in Moscow on November 16-17. The Ukrainian leaders and Chubais reviewed the full range of contentious economic issues, including: Russian import restrictions on Ukrainian sugar, alcohol, and other commodities; value-added-tax assessment and related impediments to bilateral trade; Russian cutbacks in the purchase of Ukrainian booster rockets for space launches; the division of the former USSR’s assets and debts among Russia and Ukraine; and the restitution of Ukrainian deposits held in the ex-USSR’s Vneshekonombank.
Chubais called for the participation of Russian capital in the privatization of Ukraine’s power-generating and oil-processing sectors. The talks produced a tentative compromise on the sugar trade and other proposals for final decision by Yeltsin and Kuchma. The political tenor of the meeting in Kyiv was highly positive. (Russian and Ukrainian agencies, November 14-16)
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