Putin: We stand by Ukraine commitments

2014-01-29 05:30
Russian president Vladimir Putin. (Georges Gobet, AFP)

Russian president Vladimir Putin. (Georges Gobet, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Brussels - Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted on Tuesday that Moscow would fulfil its economic commitments to Ukraine, even if the country's leadership were to change.

Both sides acknowledged that wide-ranging differences remain between them over the unrest in Ukraine following its decision to turn toward Russia for a bailout loan instead of signing a deal with the European Union. But Putin and the bloc also stressed that economic interests would force them to look for a common future.

They spoke after a summit that had been scheduled to occur over two days but was reduced to one day only by a mutual agreement.

Putin said his main concern in Ukraine is to protect Russia's financial commitments, not geopolitical concerns regarding the former Soviet republic's future.

Putin once promoted closer ties between Russia and the EU, but the dispute over Ukraine cooled their relations. After Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych refused at the last moment to sign a trade pack with the EU in November, the EU was harshly critical of Russia, saying it had used threats to keep the former Soviet republic in its grip.

On Tuesday, the Russian leader said his country will abide by the agreement providing credits and cheaper gas to Ukraine - a deal worth $15bn - even if the government is led by the opposition, which wants close relations with the EU.

"Will we revise our agreements on credits and energy if the opposition comes to power? No we won't."

In Kiev on Tuesday, the prime minister resigned and parliament repealed anti-protest laws that had set off violent demonstrations, significant concessions to the opposition's objections to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's decision regarding the EU.

Putin said Ukraine has gas debts dating back to August totalling $2.7bn and has asked to delay the payments, adding he only learned on Tuesday that Ukraine has asked to put off payments even for gas delivered this year at the lower price.

Ukraine is struggling through an economic downturn and its heavy industry in the east is dependent on natural gas supplies from Russia.

Russia had refused to offer better terms as long as Ukraine was turning its back on Moscow and seeking closer ties with the EU.

The EU has insisted that Russia has used financial incentives and undue pressure to turn Ukraine away from Europe.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    vladimir putin  |  russia  |  ukraine

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Wallabies win, Boks to face Wales
LIVE: England v Uruguay
As it happened: Australia 15-6 Wales
Scots beat Samoa, end Japan's dream
Traffic Alerts

The phrase for today is:”Out of the blue.” Expect the unexpected and work with the changeable energy. Your intuition is heightened...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.