MOSCOW, December 17 (RIA Novosti) – Russia announced Tuesday it could draw on the national wealth fund to buy $3 billion in Ukrainian eurobonds by the end of this week, making a swift start to its plans to provide $15 billion worth of credit to its cash-strapped neighbor.
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said the eurobonds would mature by January 1, 2016, and have a five percent coupon.
“This issue was planned in the budget, our Ukrainian colleagues had intended to come out onto the market,” Siluanov said.
The minister said the $3 billion provided by the bond purchase would be enough to cover Ukraine’s budgetary requirements for this year.
Siluanov said that bonds were a better-protected instrument than simply issuing inter-governmental credit.
Russian President Vladimir Putin also announced at a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart in Moscow on Tuesday that Russia will sell gas to Ukraine’s Naftogaz energy company for $268.50 per 1,000 cubic meters. That is well below the current level of more than $400.