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Putin calls Ukraine 'brotherly country'

December 19, 2013, 12:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, December 19. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine is a brotherly country and Russia should support it in a difficult situation, President Vladimir Putin told a grand news conference on Thursday.

“Our decision to reduce the gas price for Ukraine was to help the brotherly country and the brotherly people in the difficult situation,” Putin said.

“I assure you that this is the key reason for taking such decision,” the president said.

“I’ll tell seriously without any irony: we often use the phrase ‘brotherly country’ and ‘brotherly people’. Today we see: Ukraine is in a difficult political and social situation,” Putin said.

The president replied to a possible question by a Ukrainian journalist why Russia reduced gas prices and provided a loan to Ukraine.

In his view, the situation is difficult for different reasons. “If we really think this is the brotherly country and this is the brotherly people, we should behave as close relatives and support the Ukrainian people,” Putin said.

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