The main piece of news of today in Ukraine is the meeting between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents Vladimir Putin and Leonid Kuchma in the city of Kharkov, Ukraine, where the Russian-Ukrainian economic summit is currently taking place. The major goal of the summit is to sign an agreement for the delivery of gas to Ukraine and to elaborate a long-term cooperation , connected with the construction of the regular power-generating units of the nuclear power plants in the settlements of Rovno and Khmelnitsky.
As it became known today, Russia would give a commodity loan to Ukraine in the sum of $100 million to load the capacity of the generating units, the construction of which is being completed in the mentioned settlements. This was said by Bulat Nigmatullin, Russia’s deputy minister for nuclear power, commenting on the results of the meeting with the representatives of the government and the ministry for nuclear power of Ukraine. Like he said, Russia and Ukraine signed the inter-governmental agreement to complete the construction of two power-generating units in Rovno and Kmelnitsky; the contract stipulated for signing another agreement in the first quarter of the coming year. According to this another contract, Russia will give Ukraine a budgetary loan for those works.
As Nigmatullin thinks, the works can be finished within two years. He reminded that each of those units would annually produce 4.2 billion kwh of electric power – a substitute for the consumption of 2.3 billion cubic metres of gas.
The premier of the Russian government, Mikhail Kasyanov stated that the sum total of the works, connected with the generating units of the nuclear power plants, would reach $450-500 million, which was almost three times as less as the Western specialists believed.
Eleven Russian deputies of ministers, deputies of the Russian parliament, representatives of such monsters of the Russian business as Siberian Aluminium, KamAZ, Rosenergoatom, LUKoil – 300 people altogether, representing a half of the Russian regions, all leading industrial branches, 25 ministries and departments.
Ukraine’s five regions have already signed contracts on cooperation with the Russian regions. The first vice-premier of Ukraine, Oleg Dubina and deputy chairman of the Russian government, Viktor Khristenko signed an agreement about the transit of the Russian gas via the Ukrainian territory in the year 2002.
The presidents of both countries had a 30-minute meeting after they met at the airport of Kharkov and then they gave a press-conference. Putin stated during the conference that both Russia and Ukraine were responsible for the energetic security of Europe. “That is why Russia will render all necessary assistance as far as the power-generating units are concerned. Russia wants to see Ukraine rich and prosperous…We need an economically strong partner,” – Vladimir Putin said.
Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma called upon the Russian investors to enter the Ukrainian market more actively. Putin offered them to participate in the privatization of the Ukrainian state companies and set up the joint financial and industrial group. Kuchma claimed, he saw the big future for the joint usage of the Ukrainian energy carrier transportation systems, in particular Odeessa-Brody oil pipeline.
Alexander Gorobets PRAVDA.Ru Kiev Ukraine
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2001/12/14/34831.html