MOSCOW, December 26. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian and Ukrainian experts who discussed the situation in Ukraine and its relations with Russia at a roundtable meeting on Thursday said that the agreements signed between Moscow and Kiev on December 17 would enable Ukraine to stabilize its economic growth next year.
“It is necessary to understand that no one, except our own selves, will help Russia or Ukraine to modernize and restore the industrial landscape and organize serial production of hi-tech goods,“ Ruslan Grinberg, director of the Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said.
“The European Union leads its own life and has to solve its own problems. Besides, it does not want us to produce high finish goods,” Grinberg stressed.
Vladimir Zharikhin, the deputy director of the Institute of the Commonwealth of Independent States (the CIS Institute), described Russia’s decision to offer economic assistance to Ukraine as quite pragmatic.
“Under the current circumstances, it was easier for Russia to grant a credit rather than watch the destruction of the Ukrainian economy and a rise in social tensions,” Zarikhin said.
Oleg Ustenko, the executive director of the International Fund Blazer, said, for his part, that the Russian loan could support and develop positive trends in the Ukrainian economy that took shape in the fourth quarter of 2013.
“Now, Ukraine has a basis that will help it entering 2014 more or less confidently. We predict the country’s GDP to grow at about three percent in 2014 owing to the removal of tariff restrictions in trade with Russia and an opportunity not to raise gas prices for the population thus increasing the consumer capacity of Ukrainian households,” he said.
At the same time, Ukraine does not exclude a possibility of continuing a mutually beneficial gas dialogue with Russia.
“The agreements signed on December 17 marked a real breakthrough in gas agreements, and I do not think that it was the limit,” Valentin Zemlyansky, an independent Ukrainian energy expert, said. Prior to that, Moscow and Kiev had developed their relations according to a principle ‘‘cut off your nose to spite your face.