HC Deb 03 April 1996 vol 275 c385
15. Mr. Elletson

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about United Kingdom relations with Ukraine. [22627]

Mr. Rifkind

We are committed to supporting an independent and democratic Ukraine playing its full part in Europe.

Mr. Elletson

Will my right hon. and learned Friend continue to ensure that Ukraine is not overlooked in terms of the political and economic support that it receives? Does he agree that Ukraine is a European country in whose continuing independence and developing economic and political stability we have a strong interest?

Mr. Rifkind

I agree with my hon. Friend. Apart from Russia, Ukraine's independence and territorial integrity will have more impact on political stability in Europe than that of almost any other country that has emerged from the old Soviet Union.

Mr. Bennett

Is the Foreign Secretary satisfied that Ukraine has sufficient resources to close down the Chernobyl nuclear plant and, more important, to ensure that once it is closed it can be safely decommissioned?

Mr. Rifkind

There have been discussions between Ukraine and a number of western countries on the help that might be provided with regard to Ukraine's plans in that respect. We recognise that heavy burden on Ukraine, which is why the international community has felt able to make some help available in a number of ways.