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Russia could provide loan to Ukraine: Kremlin
December 16, 2013, 10:24 am

Ukrainians wearing national flags sing the national anthem during a pro-European Union rally in Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013 [AP Images]

Ukrainians wearing national flags sing the national anthem during a pro-European Union rally in Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013 [AP Images]

Ahead of a crucial round of governmental talks, Russia on Monday said it was willing to grant a loan to support the Ukrainian economy amid anti-government protests in Ukraine.

“I do not rule out that, if there is a request, a credit could be provided (to Ukraine),” Economic adviser Andrei Belousov was quoted by Interfax news agency on Monday.

An intergovernmental Russian-Ukrainian commission will convene in Moscow on Tuesday headed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich.

Kiev plans to spell out an agreement on Russian gas prices and resume talks about a three-party gas consortium to manage Ukraine’s pipeline network next week, the country’s premier said on Sunday. Ukraine is struggling with a financial crisis and with a balance of payments deficit and unpaid gas bills from Russia.

“The sides have come to an agreement that it’s time to settle the [gas price] issue. We didn’t ask for discounts, we discussed only European-level [gas] prices and I hope we would finally resolve this issue during the meeting,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said in an interview with Ukraine’s Inter TV.

Ukraine is seeking a lower price for Russian gas, at around $400 per 1,000 cubic metres.

In November the Ukrainian government backtracked from an association deal with the EU saying it would harm economic relations with Russia, prompting mass demonstrations by pro-EU protesters and throwing the country into a political crisis.

The EU on Sunday suspended negotiations over the integration pact.

Both the EU and Moscow have accused the other of using strong-arm tactics to secure economic ties with Kiev.

 

Source: Agencies

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