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Putin calls Western money given to Ukraine a "bribe"

June 16, 2015, 21:28 UTC+3
Putin’s remark came in response to President Poroshenko’s assumption that the Russian loan to Ukraine was a "bribe" for Yanukovych’s refusal to sign the association agreement with the EU
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© Jussi Nukari/Lehtikuva via AP

NOVO-OGARYOVO, June 16 /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested the money Ukraine is receiving from the West be called a "bribe" after Kiev used this term to describe Russia’s loan to Ukraine.

"If anybody thinks that [the Russian loan] is a bribe that President Yanukovych received for not signing the association agreement with the European Union, the same term can be applied to all the means provided by other creditors and investors with an aim to make this agreement signed. Lots of that money had come from the US funds," Putin told a news conference after talks with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto on Tuesday.

Putin’s remark came in response to President Poroshenko’s assumption that a $3-billion-dollar loan that Russia gave to Ukraine was a "bribe" for Yanukovych’s refusal to sign the association agreement with the European Union.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Monday that Russia’s $3-billion-dollar loan to his country was a "bribe" sealed by ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

According to Poroshenko, the whole situation around the money which Russia loaned to Ukraine in 2013 was dubious. He assumed the loan was a bribe that followed immediately after President Viktor Yanukovych had refused to sign as association agreement with the European Union in Vilnius.

"That was a bribe," Poroshenko said Monday in an interview with Bloomberg Television in his office in Kiev. Even so, "Ukraine will demonstrate responsible behavior. This is the responsibility of the Finance Ministry and the government."

We created all the conditions for the government, and the finance minister is supposed to make a responsible decision, Poroshenko said when asked whether Kiev was going to make a payment worth $75 million on June 20.

The Ukrainian president called attention to the fact that it was still unclear whether those liabilities were a state debt or a commercial loan. He added that several weeks before Russia had said that the Finance Ministry rather than other investors was the debt’s holder. Ukraine is more inclined to regard it a commercial loan because then it will be possible to make settlements on the basis common to all creditors, Poroshenko said.

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