After the meeting of Ukrainian Premier Viktor Yushchenko with first deputy head of the Russian government Mikhail Kasianov (who is now de facto running Russia’s government) it became apparent that the problem of settling Ukraine’s energy debts to Russia had come to an impasse, a circumstance that neither Yushchenko nor Kasianov made much attempt to hide. From the White House, where the talks with Kasianov had taken place, Yushchenko was taken to the Kremlin for a meeting with Acting President of Russia Vladimir Putin. He told Yushchenko that Ukraine can and must solve their economic problems.
Among the various questions discussed, one has to mention that of preparing the upcoming CIS summit, the first without Boris Yeltsin. Ukraine will again propose documents implementing free trade. Yushchenko also met with United Energy Systems of Russia CEO Anatoly Chubais. Also discussed was the problem of Ukrainian debts for electricity and the export of electricity from Russia to Ukraine. Chubais stressed the positive character of these discussions.