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German minister says Russia should be involved in int’l aid to Ukraine

February 28, 2014, 3:05 UTC+3 WASHINGTON
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WASHINGTON, February 28, (ITAR-TASS). Russia should be involved in the efforts to accord international financial aid to Ukraine, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter

Steinmeier said Thursday after talks with the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry.

Germany is working to bring Russian into the international effort to stabilize the Ukrainian economy, as no one will get benefits from a situation where Ukraine may go broke, he said.

Steinmeier also said he planned to discuss the problem of international assistance to Ukraine with the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, whom he was supposed to meet with later in the day.

He admitted however, that it was impossible the moment to assess the amount of financial aid Kiev might need.

The new Ukrainian authorities said earlier their country would need up to $ 35 billion over the short term.

In the meantime, a programme endorsed by Ukraine’s new provisional government Thursday said the country’s external debt had reached $ 140 billion or 80% of the entire GDP.

“Ukraine has found itself in the deepest economic, political and social crisis throughout the entire history of its independence (the former Soviet Republic declared itself independent in 1991 - Itar-Tass),” the document said.

“The aggregate external debt has reached $ 140 billion or about 80% of the Gross Domestic Product,” it said. “The short-term debt stands at $ 65 billion, which is four times more than the country’s foreign exchange/gold reserve currently totaling a mere $ 15 billion.”

It pointed out an overly burdensome state budget deficit and said the national treasury had been emptied, in the wake of which the overdue payment orders were snowballing.

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