Mr Putin and Mr Kuchma discussed economic cooperation issues, including gas supplies to Ukraine and possibilities for restructuring Ukraine’s debt to Russia.
Following the talks, Mr Putin told journalists that he and Mr Kuchma have approved a scheme for the transit of gas from Central Asia supplied to Ukraine via Russian territory. Russia will commit itself to delivering the necessary gas supplies and will step up work to restructure Ukraine’s debts, Mr Putin said. The President explained that, as Ukraine cannot meet the full cost of the energy supplies it needs the unpaid transport costs will be written down as part of Ukraine’s state debt to Russia.
Mr Putin responded positively to Ukraine’s proposal that Gazprom take part in the privatisation of gas transport pipelines on its territory.