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Second portion of Russian loan to Ukraine postponed until Feb 21

February 19, 2014, 22:54 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, February 19. /ITAR-TASS/. The disbursement of a second two billion U.S. dollar portion of the Russian loan to Ukraine has been postponed until Friday, February 21, for technical reasons, Reuters reported on Wednesday, February 19, citing a source in the government of Ukraine.

“We expect the money to be transferred on Friday,” he said.

Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Monday, February 17, that Russia would acquire a new portion of Ukraine’s Euro bonds worth 2 billion U.S. dollars this week.

“Two billion U.S. dollars this week,” he said when asked when Russia would buy the next portion of Ukraine’s Euro bonds.

In December 2013, Moscow and Kiev agreed that Russia would buy 15 billion U.S. dollars’ worth of Ukrainian Euro bonds. In the same month, Ukraine received the first three billion U.S. dollars in a loan from Russia.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev reaffirmed in late January that Russia would fulfill all of its financial and energy obligations to Ukraine but after the latter had formed a new government.

Russia understands the need to implement all agreements with Ukraine, the prime minister said. “But we should do it sensibly, and we can do it sensibly only if we understand what kind of economic policy a new government will pursue, who will work there and what rules they will stick to,” Medvedev said.

To prove his point, the premier referred to his personal agreements on gas payments with former Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov. “We agreed on how the gas debts would be paid and how current payments would be made. As a result of support provided to the Ukrainian economy, as a result of invigorated cooperation between Russia and Ukraine, and as a result of increased trade and economic turnover, our Ukrainian colleagues received certain advantages that have yet to be converted into economic achievements,” he said.

After these agreements, “Ukraine’s rating as a borrower has risen,” Medvedev said, adding, “We think that these positive developments will serve as the basis for paying the gas debts.”

Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev also confirmed that Russia would honour its obligations, but their schedule and parameters were to be discussed further.

“Decisions worth three billion U.S. dollars have already been implemented, and assets from the National Welfare Fund have been invested in securities,” he said. “If we speak about amounts above that sum, the government [of Russia] will maintain close contact with Ukrainian colleagues now that the government of Ukraine is to be ‘reformatted’,” the minister said, adding that Russia “should have a clearer understanding of the parameters of this government’s work.”

Putin instructed the government to fulfill all financial and energy agreements with Ukraine. “I want to draw the attention of the government to what worries our Ukrainian colleagues and friends, namely to the need to fulfill all our financial agreements I mean our agreements on loans - and energy agreements,” Putin said.

“I would like to ask the government to implement our agreements in full,” he added.

In late January 2014, the Ukrainian government approved the placement of another portion of Euro bonds in the amount of two billion U.S. dollars in favor of Russia.

On December 17, 2013, the presidents of Russia and Ukraine agreed that Russia would buy Ukrainian Euro bonds worth 15 billion U.S. dollars using assets from the National Welfare Fund. However later Siluanov said Russia was planning to use other sources as well.

He said in January that Russia would give Ukraine 10 billion U.S. dollars from the National Welfare Fund and five billion U.S. dollars in SDRs (special drawing rights).

Ukraine received the first portion of the loan in the amount of three billion U.S. dollars in 2013. The bonds were placed at 5 percent per annum, maturing on January 1, 2016.

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