Russia buys $15 billion of Ukrainian government bonds

12/17/2013
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych during their meeting in Moscow today.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych during their meeting in Moscow today.

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.