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Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has announced that Ukraine will use a Russian loan for the modernization of the nation's industry and its adaptation to European standards, the Information-Analytical Bulletin of the cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine informs.
"Under the guise of this foreign exchange reserve, we must launch a program of economic modernization. There are specific modernization projects. You want to compete in the EU? Perform modernization. This requires credit resources," Azarov said.
Government analysts say that these funds will give a new push to Ukraine to develop economy in general and industry in particular. Thanks to this loan, Ukraine will be able to create new jobs and rebuild the economy, as well as to become competitive on world markets.
The National Bank of Ukraine on Dec. 24 received the first tranche of the Russian Federation loan in the amount of 3 billion USD within the framework of 15 billion USD loan agreement. This tranche was spent on providing social benefits and salary. In fact, according to the government, the terms of the loan do not envision any early returns or payments.
At the same time, during the meeting of the Ukrainian-Russian interstate commission chaired by the Presidents of Ukraine and Russia Viktor Yanukovich and Vladimir Putin, it was agreed to reduce the price of Russian gas for Ukraine by one third - to 268.5 USD per 1,000 cubic meters.
Experts say the gas price discount will allow the industry to minimize its operating expenses and direct the released funds for the modernization and achievement of the competitive level.
According to the analysts’ calculations, reduction of the gas cost will occur quarterly and will eventually reach 30%. The government has already given the industry guarantees of its support for the following year. A significant portion of the funds received under the loan will be aimed specifically at industrial modernization early next year. To date, the government has already discussed the issue with representatives of large industrial enterprises of strategic sectors of the Ukrainian economy: machine building, aerospace construction, instrumentation, metallurgy, chemical industry, nuclear energy, agriculture (AIC) and the food industry.