Taoiseach to look at Ukraine bond plan
Plans to issue Eurobonds on the Irish exchange as part of bailout transaction
Russian president Vladimir Putin has explained the Ukraine bailout as aid for a “fraternal” state and denied it has anything to do with the breakdown in talks between Ukraine and the EU. Photograph: Sergei Ilnitsky/EPA
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said the Government would have to “consider” the matter if it turned out there was a plan to use the Irish Stock Exchange in Russia’s $15 billion (€10.98 billion) bailout of Ukraine.
Russian and global news agencies have quoted Russian president Vladimir Putin saying Ukraine plans to issue Eurobonds on the Irish exchange as part of the transaction. Russia will then funnel $15 billion from its national welfare fund into the Ukrainian bonds.
The bailout follows Ukraine’s refusal to sign a deal with the EU to develop closer relations. President Viktor Yanukovych’s pivot away from the EU towards Moscow has prompted prolonged public protests in Kiev.
Mr Putin has explained the bailout as aid for a “fraternal” state and denied it has anything to do with the breakdown in talks between Ukraine and the EU.
Arriving yesterday in Brussels for a summit with his European counterparts, Mr Kenny said he had just heard about the reports and had no information on the detail of the matter. “Obviously that’s something that we’ll have to consider if there was any truth in the allegations,” he told reporters.
The Irish Stock Exchange declined to comment on the reports.
As he arrived for the summit, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said he was not in a position to comment on the mechanism that would be used in the deal.
Asked if it was a diplomatic error for Russia to raise money for Ukraine at a time when it was at loggerheads with the EU, Mr Gilmore said Europe’s door was still open to Ukraine. “It’s not an either or. The EU’s proposal with Ukraine was to sign an association agreement. That is still on the table, the door is still open to that.”