$3b loan OK: Ukraine foreign ministry

By Chu Daye Source:Global Times Published: 2014-2-27 23:08:02

A Chinese official has denied media reports that China is suing Ukraine over an agricultural loan worth $3 billion, according to a news release published on the website of the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine on Wednesday.

Foreign media reported on Tuesday that China has allegedly demanded Ukraine return its $3 billion loan as Ukraine did not ship agricultural products to China according to contract terms, citing a Ukrainian politician.

There have been no claims from the Chinese government concerning the implementation of the contract on agricultural products between the two countries, Zhang Xiyun, Chinese ambassador to Ukraine, was quoted by the news release as saying.

Zhang had a meeting with Victor Mayko, deputy minister for foreign affairs of Ukraine, Wednesday afternoon.

Zhang also emphasized the willingness of the Chinese side to "continue the realization of the contract," according to the news release.

In 2012, China agreed to provide a $3 billion loan to Ukraine via the Export-Import Bank of China for its agricultural projects in exchange for supplies of grain.

Zhang said a senior official with the China Commodity Exchange Center will visit Kiev for the next round of negotiations with counterparts from the Ukrainian State Food and Grain Corporation on the implementation of this contract.

Zhang also said that there were no problems between Ukraine and China that could negatively affect further development of their relations.

China will never make any such claims at such a time, with Ukraine shrouded in political turmoil and uncertainty, an analyst specializing in Eastern European studies who declined to be named told the Global Times Thursday.

"The news contradicts basic math on China-Ukraine trade and therefore is untrue," Zhang Hong, an associate research fellow at the Institute of Russian, Eastern European & Central Asian Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Thursday.

China runs a quota system on corn imports, allowing importation of 2.6 million tons of Ukrainian corn worth less than $468 million, Zhang noted, but the news claimed that Ukraine had to supply $1.5 billion worth of grain to China in 2013. The international corn price is about $180 a ton, according to commodity website indexmundi.com.

China is ready to further its strategic partnership with Ukraine, Hua Chunying, spokeswoman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said at a daily press briefing on Wednesday.

China hopes the Ukrainian side can maintain continuity of its policy toward China, and ensure the effective implementation of relevant legal documents and agreements signed by the two sides, Hua said, when asked about the two countries' 2012 agricultural cooperation framework agreement.

Ukraine produces and exports agricultural products such as wheat, maize and barley, attracting  importers from the grain-hungry Chinese market.

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