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MOSCOW — Russia has bought $3 billion worth of Ukrainian bonds in a bid to support its neighbor's economy, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has faced daily protests against his surprise decision last month to drop a landmark deal with the European Union. Last week, Yanukovych secured a deal with his counterpart Vladimir Putin whereby Russia slashes gas prices for Ukraine and buys $15 billion worth of Ukrainian government bonds.

The opposition says the agreements are a sell-out but Ukraine's Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said Russia's bond purchase has helped pull Ukraine from the financial abyss.

Medvedev met with Azarov in Moscow on Tuesday and announced that Russia bought the first batch of bonds worth $3 billion on Monday. He did not indicate, however, when Russia was going to buy more Ukrainian debt.

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