Brussels begs $4 billion for gas-strapped Ukraine

Published on 26 June 2009 at 15:11

Cold as a Kiev winter might well become a proverbial expression, as the EU currently pleads with the IMF to lend the Ukraine over $4 billion to buy Russian gas. It’s a loan that may ultimately decide whether Ukraine maintains its pro-western course or falls into Russia’s lap, writes Warsaw daily Polska. “Granting this loan is more important than the Eastern Partnership agenda and will confirm that Europe treats Ukraine as a serious partner,” says political scientist and publicist Jerzy Marek Nowakowski. Kiev desperately needs financial support – the economic crisis has left its coffers empty and unable to pay its Russian gas bill. Without IMF intervention, another gas war might erupt between Ukraine and Russia. Gazprom, the Russian gas monopoly, has given Ukraine until 7 July to pay what it owes.

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