MOSCOW, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Russia could grant Ukraine a loan if Kiev asks for it, Interfax news agency on Monday quoted Russian presidential aide Andrei Belousov as saying.
"The situation in Ukraine is now such that without loans, fomr one side or another, they will simply fail to maintain economic stability," he said. "I do not rule out that, if there is a request, a credit could be provided."
Ukraine is seeking help to cover an external funding gap of $17 billion next year - almost the level of the central bank's depleted currency reserves.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, who has faced street protests since Kiev opted last month not to sign a free trade deal with the European Union, is visiting Russia on Tuesday. Belousov said a might be taken on a credit during the visit.