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Kremlin Prepares Welcome for Yanukovych

Published: December 17, 2013 (Issue # 1790)

  • Putin speaking with Yanukovych at a working meeting in Sochi earlier this month.
    Photo: Presidential Press and Information Service

The Kremlin on Monday announced that it was offering a raft of substantial deals, including a loan, for Ukraine, whose President Viktor Yanukovych was on his way to Moscow for talks.

President Vladimir Putin is hosting the talks after Ukraine last month abruptly backed out of a landmark agreement that would have tied its future with the European Union — and complicated its trade with Russia.

The reversal triggered massive pro-EU rallies in Kiev's central square and statements of support for the demonstrators from the world's leading democracies. U.S. senators John McCain and Christopher Murphy, and British Foreign Secretary William Hague were the latest Western policy makers to voice their backing.

An economically ailing Ukraine has said it will look to Russia for help to deal with its woes, and the Kremlin indicated it had something in store for Yanukovych who was coming to Moscow for the meeting of a Russia-Ukraine cooperation commission on Tuesday.

"The meeting is expected to result in the signing of a solid package of bilateral agreements," a statement from the Kremlin said Monday.

The statement did not list the agreements, saying only that the countries would look to advance joint projects in such areas as energy, transportation, space and agriculture.

Andrei Belousov, the Kremlin economic aide, said Monday that Russia could also give a loan to Ukraine, which previously rejected the International Monetary Fund's terms for a credit line.

"The situation in Ukraine is now such that without loans, from one side or another, they will simply fail to maintain economic stability," Belousov said, Interfax reported.

Belousov did not say how much Russia was willing to lend to Ukraine, though economists in Kiev have said the country needs at least $10 billion.

Ukrainian Energy Minister Eduard Stavitsky and a pro-government Ukrainian lawmaker, Alexander Yefremov, both said Monday that Russia could express willingness to reduce the price that Ukraine pays for Russian natural gas. The trade in gas to feed Ukraine's power plants and a major chemicals industry has been perhaps the biggest issue in relations between the two countries. Moscow has used Kiev's gas debt in the tussle with Yanukovych to prevent the EU agreement, demanding an immediate settlement of outstanding bills.

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Times Talk


Wednesday, Apr. 16

Learn more about AmCham’s efforts during the Joint Manufacturing, and Investment and Legal Committees Meeting today at 9 a.m. Check their website for more information about the event.

Today marks the beginning of IPhEB and CPhI Russia 2014, an international forum for the pharmaceutical industry and biotechnology that will be at LenExpo today and tomorrow. Those both already established in the industries and hoping to start a career are encouraged to attend and network with their colleagues.

Thursday, Apr. 17

Expocenter Eurasia at 13 Ulitsa Kapitan Voronin is the sight of Goods on the Way, a five-day event starting today showcasing the latest in the industrial products industry. Bags, backpacks, swimsuits and much, much more will be available to attendees hoping to update not only their style but their accessories for the upcoming summer.

Friday, Apr. 18

Teachers and students alike shouldn’t miss the opportunity to establish lasting contacts with Russian and foreign institutions during the 21st Education and Career Fair at LenExpo, beginning today and finishing tomorrow. Learn more about education in Russia and connect with your fellow scholars.

The Tromso International Film Festival, Norway’s largest, brings a short festival to St. Petersburg for one day only during Scandinavian Oddities, starting at 7 p.m. today at Rodina Cinema Center. Tickets for the event are 100 rubles ($2.80).

Sunday, Apr. 20

Celebrate Easter at Pavlovsk during the Easter Fair that begins today and continues through next Sunday. Visitors will have the chance to paint Easter eggs and children can take part in games as well as help decorate a tree in honor of Christianity’s holiest day.

Today is one of the final days to see the exhibit Cacti — Children of the Sun at the Peter the Great Botanical Garden. Starting Apr. 17, budding botanists will marvel at the variety and beauty of the desert’s most iconic plant.

Monday, Apr. 21

Improve your grasp of Neruda, Bolano and Marquez at TrueDA’s Beginners Spanish Lesson this evening at their location on the Petrograd Side. An experienced teacher will be on hand to help all attendees better understand the intricacies of the language and improve their accent.

Tuesday, Apr. 22

SPIBA’s Breakfast with the Director event series continues as the association welcomes Andrei Barannikov, general director of SPN Communications, to the Anna Pavlova Hall of the Angleterre Hotel this morning at 9 a.m. Attendees must confirm their participation by Apr. 21.

The AmCham Environment, Health and Safety Committee Meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. this morning in the their St. Petersburg office.