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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 21, 1996


               President Clinton's Meeting with
               Ukraine President Leonid Kuchma

President Clinton welcomed Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma to the White House today and reaffirmed the critical importance the United States attaches to an independent, democratic and prosperous Ukraine. Vice President Gore also met separately with President Kuchma.

President Kuchma reaffirmed his strong commitment to economic reform, highlighting low inflation and accelerated privatization as key conditions for renewed economic growth. President Clinton assured President Kuchma that the United States will continue to mobilize international support as Ukraine continues its bold advance toward a market democracy.

Both presidents applauded our growing cooperation on European security. President Clinton welcomed Ukraine's active role in the Partnership for Peace and its contributions to peacekeeping in Bosnia. President Kuchma reaffirmed Ukraine's commitment to integration in regional and global institutions, a process the United States strongly supports.

During a separate meeting, President Kuchma and Vice President Gore stressed the benefits of economic cooperation. The Vice President outlined a package of $330 million in grants and $860 million in trade and investments programs, including support to privatize Ukraine's economy, strengthen Ukraine's energy security, bolster private investment in agriculture, and a number of other economic and humanitarian initiatives. President Kuchma underscored Ukraine's commitment to create a business climate that encourages trade and investment and creates jobs in both countries.

Vice President Gore and President Kuchma focused attention on Ukraine's efforts to restructure its energy sector to promote efficiency and conservation while creating a foundation for economic prosperity. Both leaders highlighted the historic accord reached in December between Ukraine and the G-7 to close the Chornobyl nuclear power plant by the year 2000. President Kuchma outlined Ukraine's ambitious efforts to accelerate the privatization of its economy and build a stable policy integrated in an undivided Europe.

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