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Ukraine Gets Option on $6Bln From Russia for Atomic Energy

Ukraine said Friday that it has secured an option to borrow $6 billion from Russian banks to help develop its atomic energy industry.

The agreement between the two countries was reached last December during an intergovernmental commission, according to a Ukrainian Economy Ministry statement.

Russia agreed a large financial aid package for Ukraine last month after Kiev backed off from an association agreement with the European Union, a move that sparked large street demonstrations across the former Soviet country.

"Ukraine will use Russian technology because of its good technical features," said Valery Muntiyana, the Ukrainian official responsible for cooperation with Russia, according to the statement. "It is fourth-generation technology, with a very high security threshold."

The statement did not specify which Russian commercial banks would provide the loans.

President Vladimir Putin said in November that Ukrainian companies already owe Russian lenders about $28 billion.

Mass demonstrations in Ukraine erupted in November after the government declined to pursue long-planned trade agreements with the EU. Protesters seeking closer ties with the EU and a weakening of Ukraine's political and economic dependence on the Kremlin remain camped out in the center of the capital, Kiev.

In December, Yanukovych and Putin inked deals that slashed the price of gas Russia sells to Ukraine and committed the Kremlin to buying $15 billion of Ukrainian bonds.

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