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Agreement to lift restrictions on trade in certain products

President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma agreed at a Kremlin meeting on Thursday to lift restrictions on trade in certain products, and also announced progress on a planned gas consortium with Germany.

The trade agreement mainly concerns lifting restrictions on supplies of Ukrainian pipes to Russia, and also "on a wide range of Russian products" to Ukraine, Putin said, according to Interfax. The move is a step in averting a potential trade war in a dispute that escalated over the summer with threats of retaliatory tariffs on goods ranging from cars to cement and steel.

Kuchma said an agreement between the two countries on a gas consortium with Germany would likely be ready for signing at an Oct. 7 summit in Moldova, media reported. Kuchma's visit to Russia continues Friday, his 64th birthday.

(The Moscow Times 09.viii.02)

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