MOSCOW, December 24. /ITAR-TASS/. In its article headlined “Russian money won’t be enough for Ukraine” the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily reports that on Tuesday Ukraine will receive the first three billion dollars from Russia’s 15-billion-dollar loan, approved a week ago.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich was planning a trip to Moscow on Tuesday, for a session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council. However, sources in Kiev said on Monday that the president was ill and Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov would go to Russia instead. The newspaper notes in this connection that after returning from Moscow last week, Yanukovich told reporters that Ukraine was still seeking to get a status of observer in Eurasian integration agencies and sign an agreement with the European Union.
“So nothing has changed in Kiev’s foreign policy,” the Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. Explaining the situation, Yanukovich said it was disadvantageous for Russia to lose the Ukrainian gas marked and break trade relations. Other explanations came from Moscow, however. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the agreements signed on December 17 signaled Ukrainian leadership’s attitude for a constructive work within the framework of Eurasian integration structures.
The Russian side offers Ukraine to integrate in the EU together with participants in Eurasian integration agencies. However, this is directly at variance with plans voiced by Viktor Yanukovich. Kiev is not planning to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, and independently continues negotiations with Brussels. At the moment, a ‘road map’ is being discussed for the implementation of the agreement between Ukraine and the EU that was drawn out earlier and did not suit Russia.
Possibly the situation does not suit Russia at the moment either, the RBK Daily writes. First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said in reply to the query whether Ukraine could decide to sign an association agreement with the EU after getting a Russian loan, “This loan is granted so that we will always have a possibility to demand from the Ukrainian government to redeem it and (it was issued) in compliance with the strictest legal procedures”. “This is not just an agreement between the two finance ministries, when somebody gives something to the other one. It was issued in compliance with the strictest legal procedures, and Russia ensured its rights in the legal terms,” the RBK Daily cites him as saying.
“Kiev has assumed the course of stalling negotiations. Ukrainian-Russian relations will once again get back to the situation of cold estrangement,” the head of the Ukrainian International Institute of Democracy, Sergei Taran, told the Nezavisimaya Gazeta. He said Russia was not obliged to rescue Yanukovich, and Russian economy was not in a position to solve all Ukrainian problems.
Supporting on the whole the decision on a lifeline to Ukraine, Former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said, however, that it was “a bit costly for Russia” (Eurobond has a coupon of five percent). The Kommersant daily quoted him as expressing concern that Ukraine could “eat away” Russia’s rainy day reserve.
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