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Friday, June 18, 1999 Published at 22:17 GMT 23:17 UK

World: Europe

G-7 committed to shut down Chernobyl

may follow G8 SUMMIT DEBT story The G-Seven leaders have reaffirmed their commitment to secure the closure of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine by next year.

The Western leaders, at their summit in Cologne, promised to continue helping Ukraine to meet its energy needs.

The German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, found no clear support for his initiative to cut off financing for two replacement nuclear reactors.

The leaders agreed, however, that Mr Schroeder should consult Ukrainian leaders during his visit to Kiev next month on non-nuclear alternatives to the two reactors. Ahead of the summit, the German parliament passed a motion urging that a large credit to Ukraine for the reactors' completion be cancelled.

The G-7 and Ukraine signed a memorandum in 1995 about closing down the power plant entirely by the year 2000.

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