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West had been ready to loan Kiev €20bn

Published: December 19, 2013 | 12:24 pm
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The west was prepared to give Kiev at least €20bn in loans if Ukraine agreed sign a landmark European Union integration agreement last month, according to an internal EU document seen by the Financial Times.

The total would have broadly matched the bailout package Russia pledged to Ukraine on Tuesday – and what Ukraine had publicly demanded.

EU officials said Russia’s bailout, including $15bn in bond buying and a gas price reduction worth at least $4bn, pushed Kiev further away from western Europe, adding that talks on an EU deal remained frozen for the time being.

The €20bn, which one official said was a conservative figure, would have come mainly via the International Monetary Fund under tough conditions. But the European Commission would have helped “fast-track” disbursement of the funds, according to a separate EU memo.

Stefan Füle, EU enlargement commissioner, said on Wednesday that Brussels was still waiting to look at this week’s Russia-Ukraine agreements to ensure they did not contradict Kiev’s commitments to the EU under the planned integration agreement.

However, he added that “if the Ukraine-Russia deal has brought some normalcy to the trade relationship between the two countries that’s fine”.

Source: Financial Times

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