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Russia bails out Ukraine

18th December 2013
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Moscow will provide a $15 bln loan and cut gas prices, but officials maintain there was no talk of Ukraine joining the Russian-led customs union

Russia will buy Ukrainian bonds worth $15 billion
Courtesy of

Russia has agreed to buy Ukraine’s treasury bonds worth $15 billion and lower natural gas prices for the country, Russian President Vladimir Putin said after meeting his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych on Tuesday. He stressed that there was no talk about Ukraine joining the Eurasian Customs Union, a Russian-led trading bloc.

Ukraine will now pay $268.5 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas from Russia’s Gazprom, starting from January 1, 2014, Mr Putin said. The country earlier had to pay $400 for 1,000 cubic meters.

“Ukraine is, beyond any doubt and in the fullest sense of the word, a strategic partner [for Russia],” Mr Putin said after the meeting.

Thousands of Ukrainians have been protesting since late November after the country’s government announced it would suspend talks on an association agreement with the European Union. The demonstrations grew from mere pro-EU gatherings into a movement calling for the dismissal of both the president and the government.

Ukrainian politicians had been giving mixed signals about talks with the EU for weeks before the bloc finally decided to suspend association talks with the country last Sunday. It had also been suggested that Ukraine may talk to Russia about joining the customs union, which now includes Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Poland A.M.

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