Russia to Unfreeze Ukraine Loans This Week
Russia is expected to follow up on its promise to buy out Ukrainian government bonds by making a USD 2 B tranche this week.
"Russia will buy Ukrainian eurobonds to a total of USD 2 B", Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told reporters, cited by Interfax.
The move is seen as an attempt to outmaneuver the West, which is also preparing a financial stimulus package to Ukraine, but is still unclear on the terms for it.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych agreed on a USD 15 B loan in the form of buying Ukrainian government bonds, when the two met in December, amidst heated pro-EU protests in Kiev.
Following the escalation of violence in the Ukrainian capital, which led to a number of deaths and the resignation of the Prime Minister, Russia decided to put the loan on stand-by to see how the situation will unravel.
Meanwhile, an Amnesty Law is in force since Monday in Ukraine, which stipulates for the release of detained anti-government protesters. The move is seen as crucial to restoring peace in the country, as some protesters have begun lifting the street barricades.