Ukrainian PM Urges Foreign Debt Restrictions

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov called on Wednesday for significant restrictions of Ukraine's foreign debt level amid current economic instability.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov.

"Today our policies should be well-balanced, careful and self-sufficient... as never before," Azarov told the government.

"We should restrict to a minimum, or even drop at all, foreign loans, and provide state guarantees very carefully."

Leading economists believe that foreign debt problems in the United States and European countries may trigger a new wave of global economic crisis, Azarov said.

"We don't have the right to treat such serious warnings with negligence as our predecessors did. Wes should prepare the country for all possible scenarios," he added.

In June, Azarov estimated Ukraine's foreign debt at some $50 billion.

The country's economy was seriously hit by the global economic crisis in 2008-2009, which forced its government to seek foreign monetary assistance.

The International Monetary Fond approved a $15.15-billion standby loan for Ukraine "in support of the authorities' economic adjustment and reform program" in July 2010.

The National Bank of Ukraine said in June that the country's foreign debt accounted for about 84 percent of its GDP as of April 1.

Anatoliy Hrytsenko, who heads the Ukrainian parliamentary committee in charge of national security issues, said in April that the amount of Ukraine's foreign loans posed a "real threat" to the country's security.

Source: RIA Novosti