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Siluanov: Ukraine may receive up to $6 bln in financial aid from IMF, Western countries

Ukraine may receive up to six billion U.S. dollars as financial aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Western partners, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told journalists on Friday.

"First of all, this is assistance on the part of the IMF, assistance from Western countries," Siluanov said Friday. "The sum of the first tranche was considered: the Fund, $3 billion, Western partners, $3 billion." At the same time, Siluanov emphasized that "no decisions have been made yet", according to his data. "Should Ukraine receive the money, there are all grounds to say that Ukraine will be able to fulfill its commitments in full." He said that at meetings with US Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, Moscow proposed that Western partners provide financial assistance to Kiev.

"We paid attention to that. We said [our aid amounted to] $35.4 billion dollars over four years - we offered [gas] discounts or did not fine the Ukrainian partners," Siluanov said. "Now we propose that our Western partners also take part in providing aid to Ukraine so that it could fulfill its obligations, including gas payments."

Siluanov apparently referred to figures mentioned by Putin in his letter to European leaders. Putin sent a letter on the situation around Ukraine to the leaders of 18 European countries who buy Russian natural gas on Thursday. In the letter, he explained in detail the current critical situation with Ukraine's growing debt for Russian gas supplies, which could affect gas transit to European consumers.

"During the past four years Russia has been subsidizing Ukraine's economy by offering slashed natural gas prices worth 35.4 billion US dollars. In addition, in December 2013, Russia granted Ukraine a loan of 3 billion US dollars," the letter said in particular. "These very significant sums were directed towards maintaining the stability and creditability of the Ukrainian economy and preservation of jobs. No other country provided such support except Russia," it said.

The political and economic situation in Ukraine is deplorable after a coup that occurred in the country in February. Legitimate President Viktor Yanukovich had to leave Ukraine citing security concerns. Amid riots that involved radicals, new people were brought to power in Kiev. Moscow does not recognize the new Ukrainian authorities.

[Source: Itar Tass, Washington, 12Apr14]

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