Kudrin: Russia Yet To Decide On Ukraine's Request For $5-Bln Loan

MOSCOW, Russia -- Russia has received Ukraine's request for a loan totaling $5 billion, but has yet to make a decision on the issue, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said at a briefing on Tuesday.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin.

"The Finance Ministry has received an official proposal from Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. No decisions on allocating the loan have been made yet," he said.

Ukraine is seeking a $5 billion loan from Russia, Kudrin said.

It was earlier reported that Ukraine planned to receive a $5 billion loan from Russia to cover its budget deficit. Prime Minister Tymoshenko said in early February that discussions were underway with various countries so that necessary loans would be received on the governmental level to cover the planned budget deficits.

President Viktor Yuschenko, however, compared the negotiations with Russia for a $5 billion loan with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939. In this way Yuschenko accused Tymoshenko of betraying Ukraine's national interests.

Asked about the extension of a $500-million loan to Belarus, an agreement on which was signed last week, Kudrin said the money has either been transferred or will be transferred within the next few days.

The loan is to be extended to Belarus for 15 years with a five-year deferment period on the payment on the principal debt at LIBOR plus 3%.

Belarus received a $1 billion loan from Russia on the same conditions in November 2008. Russia is financing Belarus under an agreement between the two presidents on providing a $2 billion stabilization loan to Belarus in 2008-2009.

Russia plans to transfer the remaining $500 million to Belarus after amendments to the 2009 budget are made into law, Kudrin said.

Source: Kyiv Post