Kyiv, 14 November 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russia's First Deputy Prime Minister Anatoly Chubais arrived today in Kyiv for talks to settle trade differences between Russia and Ukraine. In Kyiv, Chubais is due to meet with Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and Prime Minister Valery Pustovoitenko.
Chubais, speaking before his meeting with Pustovoitenko, said he is concerned about the decline in trade volume. A 25 percent customs duty on Ukrainian sugar, imposed by Moscow, is expected to be one of the main issues of the talks in Kyiv. Chubais is also expected to raise the issue of the former Soviet debt. Under a 1994 deal, the Ukrainian government agreed to make Russia responsible for international debts of the former Soviet Union and entitled it to its assets abroad. The Ukrainian parliament however has not ratified the deal.
The talks in Kyiv are also aimed at preparing an informal meeting between Kuchma and Russian President Boris Yeltsin when Kuchma travels on Sunday to Moscow.