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Europe: EU-U.S. Summit Discusses Ukraine And Kosovo

  • Ben Partridge

London, 19 May 1998 (RFE/RL) -- The European Union and U.S. discussed a range of foreign policy issues -- including Ukraine and Kosovo -- at their sixth-annual summit in London yesterday.

The talks brought together U.S. President Bill Clinton, European Commission President Jacques Santer and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the EU.

Clinton told a news conference the U.S. and EU agreed to work together to encourage Ukraine to embark on bold economic reform, and to speed the closure of the Chornobyl nuclear reactors.

The G-7 industrial countries said after meeting in Birmingham on Friday (without Russia) that they looked forward to Ukraine taking steps to agree on a financing facility with the International Monetary Fund.

They also said funds from G-7 and other donors are dependent on the closure of Chornobyl on schedule by the year 2000.

Santer told yesterday's news conference that the EU-US summit agreed to call on the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to contribute to a loan to improve nuclear safety in Ukraine.

Santer said they also discussed the situation in Kosovo, where scores of ethnic Albanians have died in clashes with Serb security forces. He gave no details, but a communiqu from the Birmingham summit at the weekend -- in which Clinton, Santer and Blair also took part -- said the continuing violence in the south Serb province has raised fears of a new Balkans war.

The Birmingham communiqu urged both sides to ensure that dialogue leads to measures to lower tensions and stop violence.

Blair told yesterday's news conference that there was also agreement on a joint EU-U.S. program in Ukraine and Poland to "warn women of the danger of being lured into the sex trade in Western Europe."