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Acting FM: Top Ukrainian, EU diplomats to discuss financial aid to Kiev

February 04, 2014, 0:57 UTC+3 KIEV
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KIEV, February 04, (ITAR-TASS). Ukrainian Foreign Ministry officials and Catherine Ashton, the EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, will discuss possible financial assistance to Kiev during Ashton’s visit this week, acting Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara said.

“We will discuss financial assistance issues as well,” Kozhara told journalists on Monday, adding that the issues had been discussed with both the United States and the European Union, but there had been no specific proposals yet.

On Sunday, Batkivshchina (Fatherland) opposition party faction leader Arseny Yatsenyuk said the EU was ready to provide Ukraine with a $15 billion loan.

“I have heard Mr. Yatsenyuk’s statement, but can’t comment on it as such talks have not been held with me. We are expecting Catherine Ashton to visit Ukraine soon, and she will probably say more about that,” Kozhara said.

“But I want to say that for the years of talks with the EU regarding an association agreement, the EU has failed to clearly formulate what aid can be given to Ukraine in the process of association agreement implementation,” he said.

The acting foreign minister said an EU-Ukraine roadmap would soon be discussed in Brussels.

Kiev suspended work on the association agreement with the EU a few days prior to the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius in November 2013. Kiev refused to sign the deal at the summit, opting for closer ties with Russia instead. The move triggered mass anti-government rallies in Ukraine, which sometimes turned into riots.

The Eastern Partnership program is an EU project to develop ties with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.

Moscow slashed the natural gas price for Kiev to $268 from some $400 per 1,000 cubic meters and decided to provide Ukraine with a $15 billion loan in December 2013 after Kiev’s refusal to sign the association agreement with the EU.

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