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IMF letter became last straw in delaying association deal with EU - Ukraine PM

November 24, 2013, 17:57 UTC+3 CHITA
International Monetary Fund’s letter to the Ukrainian leadership became the “last straw” in the decision to delay an association deal with the European Union, Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov said
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CHITA, November 24, 17:39 /ITAR-TASS/. International Monetary Fund’s letter to the Ukrainian leadership became the “last straw” in the decision to delay an association deal with the European Union, Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov told the “Sunday Time” program on Channel One.

According to Azarov, the authors of the letter linked a loan for debt repayment to Ukraine with inadmissible for the country conditions - higher tariffs on housing and utilities services, freezing of salaries and pensions, cancellation of subsidies for the agricultural sector. “We could not take it upon ourselvest,” the prime minister said.

He noted that Ukraine’s European integration could reduce its exports to Russia and thus worsen the economic satiation. “We discussed with European partners that the signing of an agreement with the European Union would result in major economic losses. We asked to compensate for those economic losses,” Azarov said.

According to him, the EU had given a verbal promise to Ukraine that the country could count on one billion euros within seven years. “But this is nothing, it is like a pittance to beggars on a church porch,” he said. “The European Union does have the money, but when it comes to Ukraine, we are told ‘you work, progress, but don’t count on any money’,” he said.

Azarov also dismissed opposition’s statements about a EU pledge to pay 20 billion dollars to Ukraine in case of its European integration. “Show me even one document where these commitments would be fixed,” he said.

The prime minister also said he was not afraid of opposition protests similar to the Orange Revolution. “We know that these actions are financed. If this is done within the framework of law - this is normal. If this is done with the violation of law, the government will not behave the way it behaved in 2004, when the technology of overthrow of the legitimate government was calmly effected before our very eyes,” Azarov said.

He also said the task of the Ukrainian authorities was “to maximally clearly explain things to the people”. “I am responsible for each of my words. If at least one of my words was a lie, I can be brought to responsibility,” the prime minister summed up.

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