May 22, 2009
Russia proposes joint loan to Ukraine
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev proposed that the European Union help with a loan to Ukraine to secure natural gas supplies.
Ukraine has asked Russia for a $5 billion loan, RIA Novosti reported Friday. But
Russia should not be the only one tackling the problem, Medvedev said at a Russian-EU summit in Khabarovsk, Russia."
doubts in relation to Ukraine's ability to make payments,Medvedev said.
Natural gas supplies to Europe have been disrupted on several occasions, including a winter dispute over Ukraine's gas bill that led to Russia shutting down supplies for two weeks.
The trans-Ukrainian pipeline delivers about 25 percent of Europe's gas supplies and the shutdown left Europeans scrambling for alternative heating sources.
As a cushion against further disruptions, Ukraine needs to fill underground storage facilities with about $4 billion worth of natural gas, Medvedev said.