Ukraine’s President Kuchma says Russia has promised to help Ukraine fund the construction of the two nuclear reactors at the Rovno and Khmelnitsky power plants to replace the only working reactor at Chernobyl. “We fully agreed in Moscow that there will be $180 million in the Russian 1999 budget for this work,” he said, referring to his meetings with President Boris Yeltsin and Prime Minister Yevgenii Primakov.
Ukraine promised in 1995 that it would close Chernobyl by 2000 with Western assistance. But it has grown impatient as the deadline approaches and only a fraction of the required $2 billion has been raised.
“We will complete the reactors ourselves or together with Russia whether or not the European Bank for Reconstruction and Develop-ment assists us,” he said.