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Ukraine, 'aware that we owe Russia $ 3 billion'

Poroshenko,Russian "kickback" to Ianukovich's government in 2013

16 June, 14:02
(ANSA) - MOSCOW - Ukraine is aware that ''we owe Russia $ 3 billion''. This was stated today by Ukraine's Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had defined the $ 3 billion in Ukrainian government bonds purchased by Russia in 2013 ''a kickback'' to keep the country within Moscow's sphere of influence and away from the EU. This statement has angered Moscow, which urged Ukraine to clarify whether it is still willing to fullfill its obligations. This amount of money is the first tranche of a $ 15 billion Russian loan aiming to support the former President Viktor Yanukovich, after his turnaround on the association agreement with the EU that had sparked the Maidan protests: a sum which Russia wants to get back by the end of this year. On May 19, the Ukrainian parliament passed a law that gives government power to establish, ''if necessary'', a moratorium on the payment of foreign debt ''to private creditors'', which include even the $ 3 billion loan. (ANSA).

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