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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ukraine to Seek Rescheduling of Debt

KIEV -- Ukraine will launch negotiations on rescheduling some payments on its crippling foreign debt of nearly $13 billion, President Leonid Kuchma said Monday.

"We definitely must conduct negotiations, and we shall conduct them," Kuchma said.

The former Soviet republic, whose economy has contracted steadily since independence in 1991, is facing growing difficulties in covering its foreign debt, which now stands at about $12.9 billion.

The situation is expected to become especially acute in 2000-01, when Ukraine has to provide more than $6 billion in foreign-debt payments, a huge sum for the cash-starved nation.

Ukraine's National Bank reserves constituted about $1.2 billion as of Nov. 1, Interfax reported.

Kuchma, who won a second five-year term in Sunday's presidential runoff vote, has mentioned possible rescheduling talks before, saying their result depended on a positive outcome of his struggle against leftist opponents.