Putin says West asked to hold off purchasing Ukraine bonds

NOVO-OGARYOVA, March 4 Tue Mar 4, 2014 6:44am EST

NOVO-OGARYOVA, March 4 (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia was ready to release another tranche of its $15 billion credit to Ukraine, but Western countries asked Moscow to hold off on the Eurobond purchases.

In December, Moscow bought $3 billion worth of Ukraine's Eurobonds, but a second tranche of a $2 billion due earlier this year has been postponed.

"In principle we would be ready to consider a further step to release more tranches ... additional purchases of bonds, but our Western partners have asked us not to do it," Putin told journalists.