Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 116

Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma told journalists in Kiev that he and Russian president Boris Yeltsin are not likely to meet at the UN General Assembly session in New York next week. Kuchma said that should a meeting nevertheless take place, he would "invite Yeltsin to cooperate because specific action, not words, is what counts in cooperation." He would, inter alia, ask Yeltsin to eliminate obstacles to trade, Kuchma said. Ukraine’s deputy foreign economic relations minister Ihor Podolev in turn told journalists that Prime Minister Evhen Marchuk has in vain objected to Russia’s unilateral decision to exclude certain types of goods from the provisions of the Russian-Ukrainian free trade agreement. Podolev said that the International Monetary Fund has agreed to ask Russia to remove those restrictions on free trade, as one of the conditions for the restructuring of Russia´s external debts. (10)

Ukrainian foreign minister Hennady Udovenko had proposed last week in Moscow that Boris Yeltsin hold a meeting with Leonid Kuchma on the margins of the UN General Assembly session, as a poor substitute for the official visit that Yeltsin has long refused to pay to Ukraine. Kuchma’s remarks suggest that Moscow´s response was discouraging. Trade restrictions of various types introduced unilaterally by Russia are a constant subject of complaint by its CIS partners. The restrictions usually seek to satisfy protectionist interests within Russia and to gain political leverage over CIS countries by manipulating their dependence on the Russian market.

Lukashenko On The Warpath–Again.