23 February, 11:08

Russia to decide on Ukrainian aid package once new gov't formed - Moscow

Russia to decide on Ukrainian aid package once new gov't formed - Moscow

Russia will decide on a financial aid package for Ukraine once a new government is in place, Russian finance minister, Anton Siluanov, told the media on Sunday.

"We indeed discussed purchasing Eurobonds to the value of $2 billion from Ukraine last week, but the political situation has changed abruptly, and we must understand which government it is we’re dealing with, so we’ve decided to wait until a new cabinet has been formed and to better understand the new government’s politics, then, consequently, make a decision," Siluanov told journalists.

The IMF, meanwhile, has offered to help out Ukraine, should its government request their assistance, the Bank’s chairman, Christine Lagarde said, speaking to Itar-Tass.

While the Ukraine is an IMF member, 'we’ll need someone there to actually discuss these questions with,' the IMF head said.

Russia backs IMF conditions for Ukraine cash injection

Russia has upheld the requirements that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has demanded from the crisis-ridden Ukraine. This is according to Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov. He said the group of 20 finance ministers had met on the sidelines of their economic forum to discuss opportunities of IMF granting Ukraine loans.

Siluanov said that Russia had agreed with demands that came together with cash injections.“We have previously talked with Ukraine’s economic authorities about the importance of reforming the [national currency] Hrivna rates to make them more flexible, as well as about cutting subsidies, revitalizing the budget and changing domestic [gas] tariffs,” the minister said.

“I think all these issues will stay on the agenda,” he added. ‘We shall see what stance the new government will take.”

Siluanov also spoke favorable about the work of the IMF, saying Russia supported its policies. “The fund has a lot of experience helping countries that have problems with their budget and balance sheet. They have an entire toolkit at their disposal for this sort of occasions, and of course their experience will come in handy when dealing with Ukraine,” the Russian finance chief concluded.

Ukraine has been soliciting an IMF loan worth $15 billion for the past two years. In exchange, Kiev was asked to ease up its Hrivna rates, ratchet up energy tariffs and cut budget debt.

Ukrainian opposition fails to deliver on deal with Yanukovych - Russian FM

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday the opposition in Ukrainehad failed to deliver on the Feb. 21 agreement with President Viktor Yanukovych. The Foreign Ministry said that was the message Lavrov conveyed to his German, Polish and French counterparts - the European Union trio that helped reach the deal between the rival sides in Kiev - on the phone on Saturday

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed his deepest concern to the foreign ministers of Germany, France and Poland about the Ukrainian opposition's inability to negotiate on the agreement signed February 21 in Kiev, the Russian Foreign Ministry reports.

In a telephone conversation with his European colleagues, Lavrov "expressed the gravest concern about the opposition's inability to negotiate on the agreement signed February 21 in Kiev."

"The opposition has only failed to meet any of the conditions, but still it puts forward new requirements, led by armed extremists and thugs whose actions pose a direct threat to the sovereignty and constitutional order of the Ukraine," the Foreign Ministry website stated Saturday.

Russia to grant financial aid to Ukraine after new government is formed

Russia will make a decision about sending the next instalment of financial aid to Ukraine after a new government is formed in Kiev, Russian Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov told journalists.

He said that the Russian government discussed buying 2bln Ukrainian Eurobonds last week but, as the political situation has changed dramatically, Russia should be aware what Ukrainian government it is going to deal with, so we intend to wait until a new government is formed and its policy has taken shape. After that Russia will act respectively, Anton Siluanov said.

Russia tells US that Ukraine's peace deal is under threat

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told US Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday that the peace deal signed in Ukraine had been "sharply degraded by opposition forces' inability or lack of desire" to respect it, the ministry said.

"Illegal extremist groups are refusing to disarm and in fact are taking Kiev under their control with the connivance of opposition leaders," Lavrov told Kerry by telephone, according to a Russian Foreign Ministry statement.

Lavrov "reminded" Kerry that President Vladimir Putin had urged US President Barack Obama during an earlier call to "use every opportunity to stop the illegal actions of radicals and return the situation to constitutional channels", it said.

Russia plays constructive role in reaching agreement in Ukraine – Polish Foreign Ministry

Russia’s representative at the talks in Kiev, Human Rights Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin, has played a constructive role in the talks between Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and the opposition on reaching an agreement on normalising the situation in the country, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said at a press-conference. Sikorski also took part in the preparation of the document.

Sikorski pointed out that Russia’s representative as an experienced diplomat helped the progress of the talks.

Sikorski characterised the agreement reached in Kiev as a chance to success. In his opinion, the agreement is not likely to satisfy everyone but it is the best possible at the moment. Sikorski said that an agreement is an expression of political will, not a ready-made reform, Constitution or plaster for all Ukraine’s sores. The agreement has launched Ukraine into a new orbit, which will hopefully bring the republic back to the European path, he said.

Russia, EU to cooperate on settling crisis in Ukraine amid respect for its sovereignty – Moscow

Russia, EU to carry on cooperating to settle crisis in Ukraine amid respect for country’s sovereignty and powers of its legitimate government, said Russian Foreign Ministry.

Constitution reform draft must be put to nationwide referendum, said statement by Russian Foreign Ministry.

No Russian envoy Vladimir Lukin's signature on Ukraine crisis settlement document doesn't mean Russia not interested in compromise, it said.

Russian FM Lavrov urges EU condemn radicals responsible for Ukraine violence

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discussed the Ukraine peace deal with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and urged the EU to condemn "radicals" responsible for violence, the ministry said on Friday.

A ministry statement said Lavrov and Ashton had discussed the deal "and the prospects for its implementation in the conditions of continuing activity by extremist forces."

Russian envoy Lukin says questions remain about Ukraine peace deal

A Russian envoy sent to Kiev by President Vladimir Putin said talks to resolve Ukraine's crisis produced progress, but indicated Moscow had questions about the EU-brokered peace deal and confirmed he did not sign it, Interfax reported on Friday.

"Certain questions still remain, consultations will continue, this is a normal process," Interfax quoted Vladimir Lukin as saying after returning to Moscow.

Consultations over resolution of the situation in Ukraine will continue, Russian Human Rights Commissioner Vladimir Lukin said after returning to Moscow from Kiev.

"We talked. We clarified each other's positions. We shall continue consultations. In this sense, there is certainly progress," Lukin told Interfax on Friday night. I did not sign the agreement settling the Ukrainian crisis, he said. "No, I did not. Several issues remain. Consultations will continue, it is a normal process," Lukin said.

"I do not know, it will be decided here, in Moscow, in a calm atmosphere," Lukin said when asked about plans to visit Kiev again.

"Dialogue will definitely continue. But who will continue it, how and in what sequence, that is a technical and diplomatic matter that will be discussed," he said.

"There is a chance of achieving peace in Ukraine. People are working on it. But the situation there is very complicated and quite fluid, people you have to talk too are coming and going. The conversation will continue, including with our partners in Europe," the ombudsman said.

Russia's Duma ready for constructive dialogue with new Ukrainian authorities

The State Duma (lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia) has stated it will be ready to cooperate with the new Ukrainian authorities even if this cooperation proves uneasy.

"Ukraine is a fraternal nation to us. However inconvenient and difficult the new authorities will be for us, we shall talk to them at all levels," head of the Duma Committee for CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Ties with Compatriots Leonid Slutsky told reporters on Friday.

Most likely, the draft agreement stipulating early elections, coalition government formation with a ten-day period and a return to the 2004 Constitution will be signed by all parties to the negotiating process in Kiev, he said.

"If this agreement is signed, it will by no means separate us from the Ukrainian people. The new authorities are not a reason for uneasy statements, this is a reason for constructive dialogue," he said.

Voice of Russia, Reuters, TASS, RT

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