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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kuchma, Putin To Talk Gas Debt

KIEV — Ukraine's President Leonid Kuchma leaves behind a bitter political crisis at home Thursday for a two-day working visit to Russia to tackle the thorny issue of energy debts to Moscow.

Kuchma's talks with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, which will be the third meeting between the leaders of the two most populous ex-Soviet states in the last two months, will primarily focus on Ukraine's huge debts for natural gas.

Senior officials had said a memorandum between Russia and Ukraine to restructure gas debts of more than $1.4 billion might be signed during the visit.

The deal, unveiled during the leaders' last meeting in Minsk earlier this month, is a major breakthrough in a long-running row which has overshadowed relations between the Slav neighbors.

Kuchma's press service said that besides energy issues the Ukrainian and Russian leaders would also discuss prospects of boosting trade as well as economic and political relations.