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Ukrainian president defends Russian bailout deal

Updated: 2013-12-20 PM 12:04:59 (KST)
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Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich has launched an impassioned defense of the multi-billion dollar aid package he secured from Russia.
In a televised news conference Thursday, Yanukovich said securing cheaper gas and credits from Moscow had been the only way to stave off default.
Under the deal reached this week in Moscow, Russia said it would buy up to 15 billion U.S. dollars worth of Ukrainian bonds and securities and slash gas prices for Ukraine by more than a third.
Yanukovich also said he doesn't welcome Western intervention in internal issues, adding Kiev may adopt parts of the Russia-led customs union alongside other former Soviet republics.
Opposition groups and protesters continue to rally in the capital's main square against the president's last minute refusal to sign a trade deal with the European Union.

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