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Ukraine forced to take loans and buy US weapons at massively inflated prices, opposition party charges

UKRAINE’S Opposition Platform — For Life (OPZZh) party has accused the United States of fuelling regional tensions by forcing Kiev to take out loans and buy weapons at massively inflated prices.

“Who profits from tensions? [We are sure] the situation is beneficial for the countries that are fuelling them. And I would like to stress that no-one is making presents to us,” it said today.

“They make us buy those weapons, hastily and at a triple price. No-one ever disclosed how much we pay for that. They are forcing us [to sign] contracts, and we are taking loans to finance them,” the pro-Russian party continued.

Ukraine has been flooded with arms since the US, Britain and Nato escalated their aggressive drive to war with Russia earlier this month, making unsubstantiated claims of an imminent invasion.

But Kiev has called on the Western imperialist powers to tone down the rhetoric, insisting the threat from Russia is no greater now than it was last spring.

Britain has supplied anti-tank weapons to Kiev, while the US has sent total of 250 tons of “lethal aid” to Ukraine in four separate shipments as part of an extra $200 million (£150m) military package.

It includes US-made FGM-148 Javelin missiles, which cost $175,000 (£130,000) each: money the OPZZh says should be spent on Ukrainian workers.

Last year, Washington provided a record $650m in “military assistance” to Ukraine, on top of $2.7 billion (£2bn) it has supplied since the conflict in Ukraine’s east started in 2014.

Four MPs from the OPZZh were sanctioned by the US earlier this month over allegations it was destabilising Ukrainian sovereignty.

But critics said the Eurosceptic party was targeted because it promised to renegotiate a Ukrainian-EU deal and increase trade with the Commonwealth of Independent States, a bloc formed after the fall of the Soviet Union.

The agreement commits both parties to work towards a convergence with EU common security and defence policy and the policies of the European Defence Agency.

It will also open the door to free-trade agreements between the EU and Ukraine dependent on Ukraine implementing judicial and financial reforms.

Rejection of the deal by then-president Viktor Yanukovich in 2014 led to a US-EU and fascist-backed coup that ousted the democratically elected government.

OPZZh has also promised to overturn “decommunisation,” which has seen the banning of the Communist Party of Ukraine along with the use of communist symbols.

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