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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ukraine Seeks Meeting With Clinton

KIEV -- U.S. President Bill Clinton may meet Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk during his tour of former Soviet republics, a Ukrainian official said Monday.


The official suggested the meeting, certain to focus on differences over nuclear arms policy, could take place in Minsk during Clinton's one-day stop in neighboring Belarus on Jan. 15.


Ukraine and the United States have been at odds over the terms of nuclear disarmament, particularly ratification of the START I treaty.


The Clinton administration has criticized 13 conditions imposed by the Kiev parliament, which said the pact did not oblige Ukraine to give up all its nuclear weapons for good.


Ukraine's delay in ratifying the treaty prompted the cancellation of two Kravchuk trips to Washington.


Interfax, quoting an "informed source," said Kravchuk could meet Clinton and President Boris Yeltsin in Moscow on Jan. 14 to sign an agreement on "basic questions of nuclear disarmament." It said Clinton had invited Kravchuk by letter.


The Ukrainian official said it would be best if Clinton came to Kiev.


"Ukraine hopes for a compromise in organizing a meeting of the presidents," the official in Kiev told reporters.


"It is unacceptable for Kravchuk to go to Moscow in terms of Ukraine's honor. A more acceptable option is a meeting in Minsk, although the best means of proceeding would be for Clinton to come to Kiev."


Clinton is due to attend a NATO summit in Brussels before travelling on to Prague, Moscow and then Minsk.


Russia, Ukraine and the United States have been holding talks to determine a formula for to compensate Ukraine for the cost of disarming.