Russia asks Ukraine for more data before considering $5 bln loan

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Russia's Finance Ministry said on Monday it had asked Ukraine to submit more information on its economic problems before considering any request to grant its neighbor a $5 billion loan.
MOSCOW, February 9 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Finance Ministry said on Monday it had asked Ukraine to submit more information on its economic problems before considering any request to grant its neighbor a $5 billion loan.

However, Ukraine has not yet submitted an official application for a loan to cover its budget deficit.

Ukrainian presidential office officials said late last week that Kiev had been negotiating a $5 billion loan with Russia. Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko confirmed that the Cabinet was negotiating a loan with a number of countries, including Russia.

"Ukraine has asked Russia to consider granting it a $5 billion loan to cover its budget deficit," a Russian Finance Ministry statement read. "The Ukrainian Finance Ministry will submit additional information on the current situation facing the Ukrainian economy."

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry press secretary Vasily Kirilich said his country's top diplomats were not involved in the negotiations.

"The Foreign Ministry is not taking part in the current stage of the negotiations," he said.

Ukraine's economy has been hard hit by the global credit crunch, along with the falling price of steel, a key national export.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved on November 5 a $16.43-billion emergency loan to Ukraine. The country has already received the first tranche of $4.5 billion and a decision on the second tranche could be adopted in February.

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