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27Jan14


Azarov: $160 billion not exorbitant figure for Ukraine's economic modernisation


Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov has criticized opponents calling $160 billion for economic modernization an exorbitant figure.

"When I named this figure of $160 billion necessary for Ukraine's economic modernization, we faced tough criticism, but nobody gave another figure," he said in an interview with the Segodnya, a Russian language daily based in Kiev, on Monday.

"We say $160 billion for 10 years, while others note this is an exorbitant figure, but nobody has dared to say we need $20 billion, $50 billion or $100 billion. Therefore every, more or less sober-minded person realizes that the talk is about huge sums that even cannot be covered by these $160 billion," Azarov said.

He paid attention to the fact that over the past two-three years, four countries -- Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland -- had received 400 billion from the European Union.

"The population and territory of all four countries makes one and a half of Ukraine," Azarov said. "The EU injected 400 billion euro not into modernization, but into liquidation of crisis-related problems and debt payment and in general, spent 400 billion to save those countries from default. And we are said $160 billion is an exorbitant figure for Ukraine, Europe's largest country by area and one of the biggest by population."

[Source: Itar Tass, Kiev, 27Jan14]

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