KIEV, December 2. /TASS/. Ukraine has paid $14 billion on its foreign debts, including the debt of its oil and gas company Naftogaz to Russia, Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said Tuesday.
Yatsenyuk, who spoke in the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s unicameral parliament, after his appointment, said his country simultaneously received various types of foreign financial assistance worth $9 billion.
Ukraine’s foreign debt currently stands at $72.9 billion, he said.
Ukraine has been in deep crisis since the end of last year, when then-President Viktor Yanukovich suspended the signing of an association agreement with the European Union to study the deal more thoroughly. The move triggered mass riots that eventually led to a coup in February 2014.
The coup that brought chaos to Ukraine prompted the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol with a special status to refuse to recognize the legitimacy of coup-imposed authorities, hold a referendum and secede from Ukraine to reunify with Russia in mid-March after some 60 years as part of Ukraine.
After that, mass protests erupted in Ukraine’s southeast, where local residents, apparently inspired by Crimea's example, did not recognize the coup-imposed authorities either, formed militias and started fighting for their rights.
Kiev’s military operation designed to regain control over the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk regions in Ukraine’s southeast on the border with Russia, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People's republics, has left thousands of people dead, brought destruction and forced hundreds of thousands to flee.
Businessman and politician Petro Poroshenko won the May 25 early presidential election in Ukraine. Poroshenko had funded anti-government protests that led to the February coup.
The parties to the intra-Ukrainian conflict agreed on a ceasefire during talks mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on September 5 in Belarusian capital Minsk. The ceasefire took effect the same day but has reportedly occasionally been violated.