If somebody thinks that the $3bn Eurobonds were a bribe offered by Russia to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych for not signing the association agreement with the European Union, then, we may as well regard as bribes all the funds given to Ukraine by American and other investors for the agreement to be signed, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a joint press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto on June 16, when asked to comment on Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s statement that the Eurobonds were a bribe given by Russia to keep Ukraine under its influence.
“As you may know, the new leaders of Ukraine signed the agreements but put off their implementation till Jan 1 2016. The question is who used the money if it was a bribe? By delaying the implementation the new Ukrainian authorities did exactly what Yanukovych suggested to do. The funds we took from our reserves were spent on the acquisition of Ukraine’s bonds in compliance with the English law. The Ukrainians wanted the money for solving their social problems, paying pensions, allowances and so on,” Putin said.
According to Putin, Russia does not care who and how used the money – what it cares for is if it will be repaid.
“Now that Ukraine’s external debt has exceeded 60% of its GDP, we have the right to claim our money back but we are not doing this as we see that Ukraine is facing serious economic problems. Still we hope to get the money back as is stipulated by the relevant agreement,” Putin said.