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Ukraine: Presidents Clinton, Kuchma To Meet Today

Washington, 16 May 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and U.S. President Bill Clinton are scheduled to meet today at the White House for broad discussions on security and economic issues.

White House spokesman Michael McCurry says the two presidents will also review the Russian-NATO compact, especially because Ukraine and NATO also are working on an agreement.

To meet Clinton, Kuchma will take a break from co-chairing the first meeting of the U.S.-Ukraine Binational Commission, along with U.S. Vice President Al Gore.

The commission, patterned after a similar U.S.-Russian group, is to see that bilateral cooperation is working.

Among items on the agenda are U.S. business concerns over corruption and other problems hurting Ukraine's investment environment. General economic reforms also are due to be discussed.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), which has a three-year loan of up to $3 billion awaiting Kyiv's adoption of a budget, tax laws and a few other structural measures, said it was "encouraged" by the determiniation of Ukrainian officials.

Kuchma met with IMF head Michel Camdessus yesterday and a fund spokeswoman said he reiterated IMF readiness to move once measures are in place.