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Russia buys $15 billion of Ukrainian government bonds

  • Russia-Ukraine

    Journalists watch a television screen airing Russian President Vladimir Putin, center right, and his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych, center left, sit during their meeting in Moscow on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Russia-Ukraine-1

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych talk during their meeting in Moscow on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Alexander Nemenov, pool)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Russia-Ukraine-2

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych during their meeting in Moscow on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Alexander Nemenov, pool)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Russia-Ukraine-3

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych during their meeting in Moscow today.

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

Russia-Ukraine-3

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych during their meeting in Moscow today.

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MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin says Moscow has agreed to sharply cut the price for its natural gas supplies to Ukraine and will buy $15 billion worth of Ukrainian government bonds.

Putin spoke after holding talks today with his Ukrainian counterpart, Viktor Yanukovych, who has faced massive protests at home for spiking a pact with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia.

Protesters in Ukraine, who have camped on the capital’s main square in Kiev for nearly a month, have warily watched the talks with Putin, fearing they could pull Ukraine closer into the Russian orbit.

Putin said the Russian state-controlled gas monopoly, Gazprom, will cut the price that Ukraine must pay for Russian gas deliveries to $268 per 1,000 cubic meters from the current level of about $400 per 1,000 cubic meters.

Putin also said Russia has decided to invest $15 billion in Ukraine’s government bonds.

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