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Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovich says a loan deal with Russia is beneficial for his country's economy.
He says he accepted a $15 billion aid package from Russia because of high gas prices and debt repayments to the IMF, and that the aid from Moscow doesn't contradict his policy of European integration.
(SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT, VIKTOR YANUKOVICH, SAYING:
"There are no contradictions in the course of Ukraine for any (European) integration. In fact, we are talking not about integration but about economic relations. We didn't discuss (in Moscow with Putin) any integration issues either regarding European integration or regarding the customs union."
Mass protests were sparked in Kiev at the end of November, when Yanukovich decided not to sign a trade agreement with the European Union - saying he would sign when the terms were right.
Demonstrators continue to camp out in Kiev's Independence Square, fighting for a future with the EU.