Ukrainian Prime Minister visits Canada

arseni-iatseniouk-rencontre-stephen-harperUkrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk will be in Ottawa on Tuesday for talks with Harper on political and economic reforms it tries to implant in his country.

A statement from the office of the Prime Minister of Canada says that this visit will “reaffirm the strong relationship” between their two countries and to “discuss ways” to deepen those ties.

MM. Yatsenyuk and Harper specifically discuss the situation in Crimea – which was annexed to Russia a year ago – and “ways to strengthen economic ties between Canada and Ukraine.”

“I look forward to welcome the Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk as part of his first official visit to Canada to discuss the work to be done to grow our economies and enhance the security of Ukraine about the constant aggression of the Putin regime “Harper said in a statement.

The last meeting of the two leaders in the beginning of June, just before the summit of the G7 countries. Mr. Yatsenyuk had asked his Canadian counterpart to urge its allies to provide lethal military assistance for Ukraine can defend itself against the pro-Russian separatists in the east.

The visit of the Ukrainian Prime Minister comes as the country is expected to announce soon that it can not pay its debts to private creditors.

The situation in Ukraine is very different from that of Greece, which is funded by public organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Central Bank.

Negotiations on the restructuring of the Ukrainian debt are ongoing. In theory, the country must repay by July 24, a sum of US $ 120 million to private bondholders. The Ukrainians would reimburse only half of that amount to investors.

The Ukrainian parliament passed a law allowing the president Petro Poroshenko to suspend payment of debts to private foreign creditors as the country is redeveloping its debt, which represents 95 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP). Several observers, including the IMF, have described the situation as “unbearable”.

The Canadian Defense Minister Jason Kenney is optimistic about the possibility that Ukraine avoids default.

“We hope it will not happen. We helped Ukraine to stabilize its currency situation with the IMF. The most important point for Ukraine is to grow its economy and that is why it needs stability, “he told in a recent interview with The Canadian Press.

He recalled that the Harper government was trying to conclude a free trade agreement with the countries that have already implemented reforms. “Unlike Greece, Ukraine actually made efforts to adopt reforms. They are paying the political price, “he said.

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