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Russia, EU hint at financial aid in exchange for Ukraine's partnership

Published time: December 16, 2013 17:42
Edited time: December 17, 2013 10:12
A protester holds Ukrainian and European Union flags during a rally to support euro integration in central Kiev  (Reuters/Gleb Garanich)

A protester holds Ukrainian and European Union flags during a rally to support euro integration in central Kiev (Reuters/Gleb Garanich)

Aiming to keep Ukraine in orbit, both Russia and the EU have teased the country with promises to help fund its $17 billion finance gap.

As Kiev remains split between advocates of Ukraine’s alliance with Russia and those who want the country to move closer to the EU, Moscow and Brussels both said on Monday that they would grant loans to Ukraine should it agree to join their own particular alliance.

Ukraine will “simply fail to maintain economic stability,” Interfax quoted Russian presidential aide Andrey Belousov as saying. “I do not rule out that, if there is a request, a credit could be provided,” he said.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton also stressed that the EU could help Ukraine secure an IMF loan. At an EU Council meeting, Ashton said she had talked with the Ukrainian president about the short-term issues that prevented him from signing the agreement with the EU. She said such issues could be resolved through the support of the EU and international financial institutions, as well as through commercial loans.

Ukraine is seeking help to cover an external funding gap of $17 billion next year, which is almost the level of the central bank's depleted currency reserves, according to Reuters.

On Tuesday Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich is visiting Moscow. He will be meeting Vladimir Putin to discuss economic cooperation. “A solid package of bilateral agreements is expected to be signed following the meeting”, says the Kremlin website.

When asked whether the loan would be put forward at Tuesday's meeting between Yanukovich and Putin, Belousov said that he has not ruled out any possibilities.

Comments (5)


Erich 16.12.2013 22:32

Hard choice, money from a country that has a history of forgiving debt, or money from countries that have used loans and interest rates to enslave people.


J M 16.12.2013 22:09

It's cold without natural gas. Ukraine needs it at the current low prices which are offered by Russia. Does anyone remember when they cut off the gas? I do, it was cold. I don't have a "side" but it's just the way things go. Unless the EU really has something significant to offer, I doubt the Ukranian government will bite.


Agnes Maria 16.12.2013 20:57

Et tu, RT? This news day is an assault on Russia! I went all the way to you to escape it, and this is what I see? This saddens me. PLEASE do not contribute to widening, perpetuation or furthering the massive political black hole that exists where should stand proud nations!

View all comments (5)
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