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Azarov: agreements with Russia help Ukraine avoid bankruptcy

December 20, 2013, 23:20 UTC+3 KIEV
“After the signing of these agreements with Russia, we will have financing under normal terms", said PM
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© EPA/SERGEY DOLZHENKO

KIEV, December 20, 23:13 /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine might have faced bankruptcy but for the recent agreements with Russia, Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov told the local television on Friday.

“After the signing of these agreements with Russia, we will have financing under normal terms. We have smoothed the [financial] situation,” he said, adding that the new bilateral agreements were geared to “preserve the favoured trade regime with Russia and the Customs Union [of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan], to reduce gas payments, and to establish cooperation with Russian companies.”

He stressed that Ukraine was granted a loan without any additional conditions, such as increased gas tariffs for the population, whilst the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had insisted on that.

He added that now Ukraine feels no immediate need to turn to the International Monetary Fund for borrowings. 

“For the time being we feel absolutely no need for turning to the IMF for a loan. We now have certain extra advantages at negotiations with the Fund. We would have been forced to accept IMF terms. In that case we would be under the pressures of high gas prices and debts,” he said. 

He is absolutely certain that agreements with Russia do not endanger Ukrainian independence. “They have enhanced our sovereignty and opened up international markets to Ukraine, because their reaction to that deal was instant and positive,” Azarov said.

According to his words, Ukrainian government is going to spend 3 billion dollars of the 15-billion-dollar Russian loan on social payments at the end of this year and early next year.

“The first three billion dollars of the loan will be spent on wages, pensions and social benefits.The money will be used to let us comfortably finance these mandatory payments from the state budget in December this year and in January and the first half of February of 2014,” Azarov said. 

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