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Ukrainian president turns down Russia's loan offer

KIEV, December 29 (RIA Novosti) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has turned down the Russian president's offer of a $3.6 billion loan to finance its Russian natural gas imports at market prices in 2006.

"Ukraine will pay for itself," Yushchenko told reporters, adding he was grateful to the Russian leader for the offer.

He said the gas price should be "appropriately fixed and reasonable for Ukraine."

On Thursday, Vladimir Putin offered Ukraine a $3.6 billion loan to cover the move to a market price of $220-$230 per 1,000 cu m of Russian natural gas in 2006.

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