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Ukraine: Chornobyl Aid Assurances Given

Kyiv, 5 December (RFE/RL) - Western finance officials today assured Ukraine's parliament that funds to ensure the safe decommission of the Chornobyl nuclear plant will be paid. Chornobyl's last functioning reactor is scheduled to be shut down on December 15, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is due to announce on Thursday a decision on financing two replacement reactors. EBRD President Jean Lemierre last month said he had recommended a $215 million conditional loan be granted to Ukraine. The proposal is to be discussed on Thursday, and EBRD Vice President Joachim Jahnke today said he was sure it will be approved.

Earlier today, some Communist deputies said they will vote against the closure of Chornobyl unless the West provides funds to assist with the shutdown.

The two reactors at Khmelnitsky and Rovno are due to replace electricity lost when Chornobyl is finally closed.