Russian bailout's fate may depend on whether Ukraine gets better offer-finmin

KIEV, March 5 Wed Mar 5, 2014 7:29am EST

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KIEV, March 5 (Reuters) - Ukraine's finance minister said on Wednesday he did not rule out continuing cooperation with Russia over a $15-billion financial bailout package but that a decision could depend on whether Kiev gets a better offer from elsewhere.

"If we can count on getting more attractive funds, we will no longer continue the Eurobond programme," Finance Minister Oleksander Shlapak told reporters.

Russian bought Ukrainian Eurobonds worth $3 billion in December under the bailout offered by Moscow after Kiev spurned a trade and political pact with the European Union and turned to Moscow instead.

Russia has withheld the $2-billion second tranche of the bailout and has not said whether it will continue with the programme since the removal of Moscow-backed Viktor Yanukovich as president last month. Ukraine is holding talks with the International Monetary Fund on a new financial programme.

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A tourist takes a plunge as she swims at Ngapali Beach, a popular tourist site, in the Thandwe township of the Rakhine state, October 6, 2013. Picture taken October 6, 2013. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun (MYANMAR - Tags: SOCIETY) - RTR3FOI0

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