OT Ukraine pays Russia with Nuclea Bombers (re energy debt)

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

http://infoseek.go.com/Content?arn=a2584LBY643reulb-20000126&qt=%2BReuters+%2Bukraine&sv=IS&lk=noframes&col=NX&kt=A&ak=news1486 Ukraine delivers seventh nuclear bomber to Russia 01:16 p.m Jan 26, 2000 Eastern KIEV, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Ukraine sent Russia a seventh nuclear bomber on Wednesday as part of a deal under which Kiev is handing over Soviet-built aircraft to pay off energy debts.

A Defence Ministry spokesman said the Tupolev-160 had left Pryluky airbase, 120 km (72 miles) east of the capital Kiev, for Engels airbase in Russia's central Saratov region.

Under the deal, signed last year by the two ex-Soviet states, Ukraine will deliver a total of eight Tu-160s and three Tu-95MS planes to reduce its debt by $275 million.

Ukraine has already sent three long-range Tupolev-95MS bombers and four Tupolev-160 ``Blackjacks,'' including the plane which left on Wednesday.

The size of the debts is still a bone of contention between the two states. Moscow says Ukraine's government and commercial gas traders together owe around $2 billion, while Kiev says the debt amounts to $740 million.

The Defence Ministry did not announce a timetable for the delivery of the remaining four aircraft.

-- boop (leafyspurge@hotmail.com), January 27, 2000

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