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Wednesday, July 7, 1999 Published at 23:47 GMT 00:47 UK

World: Europe

Schroeder goes to Ukraine

The German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, is going to Ukraine today Thursday to discuss the future of the country's nuclear power stations.

At issue is the replacement of the Chernobyl complex, which is due to be closed down next year.

A fire at one of the Chernobyl reactors in 1986 caused one of the world's worst nuclear disasters, but part of the plant is still functioning.

The Ukrainian government maintains it cannot provide enough electricity without two new nuclear power stations, but the BBC Berlin correspondent says Mr Schroeder hopes to persuade the Ukrainians to build conventional generators instead. The G-7 group of industrialised countries has promised more than a billion dollars to pay for two new nuclear power plants, but the deal has been postponed at Germany's request, pending the outcome of Mr Schroeder's visit.

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