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Russia to resume oil flow to Ukraine refinery, boon for Yanukovich

Published on Dec 17, 2013 7:30 PM

MOSCOW (REUTERS) - Russia plans to restart oil supplies to Ukraine's Odessa refinery after a three-year drought, traders said, in a sign Moscow is ready to support its neighbour after it spurned a trade deal with the European Union.

Ukraine hoped to secure new loans from Russia on Tuesday to help fend off an economic crisis, although any deals reached at talks in the Kremlin could fuel anti-government protests in Kiev.

President Viktor Yanukovich was also expected to seek a discount for Russian gas supplies during the talks with President Vladimir Putin as Ukraine's financial difficulties could hit fuel supplies this winter.

The plan to resume supplies by pipeline to the Odessa refinery could be a reward for Ukraine keeping the EU at arm's length and opting instead to revive economic ties with its former Soviet master Moscow.

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