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Russia buys $3 billion worth of Ukrainian government bonds

Staff writer |
Russia had bought $3 billion worth of Ukrainian government bonds, the first tranche under an agreement signed a week ago, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.

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In talks with visiting Ukrainian counterpart Mykola Azarov, Mr. Medvedev said the funds were transferred to the Central Bank of Ukraine on Monday. He urged both sides to revive bilateral relations and trade, economic and investment cooperation.

Russia and Ukraine signed the bond agreement during a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on December 17. Under the deal, Russia will buy $15 billion worth of Ukrainian government bonds and slash the price of natural gas for Ukraine.

Mr. Azarov, who was in Moscow to attend a session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, said the agreement gave Ukraine an opportunity to improve its international credit ratings and leave the risk zone. "For us, this is a very serious, stabilizing factor."

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