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UPDATE 1-Ukraine paying debts on time - finance minister

Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 | 7:25 AM ET

KIEV, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Ukraine is paying its debts and will continue to do so, Finance Minister Yuri Kolobov said, after currency and bond markets came under pressure in the wake of massive protests against President Viktor Yanukovich.

"Ukraine is a reliable borrower and is flawlessly fulfilling, and will fulfil, all of its obligations on time," Kolobov said in a recorded message broadcast by state television on Tuesday.

Ukraine's debt insurance costs jumped 29 basis points to a fresh two-month high as opposition leaders pressed for a no-confidence vote against the government and fears of a prolonged financial crisis grew. The parliamentary motion was rejected.

Ukrainian dollar bonds fell slightly and its 2020 issue dipped below 85 percent of par, its lowest since early 2012.

Kiev must find more than $17 billion next year to meet gas bills and debt repayments.

The hryvnia eased to a four-year low of 8.25 against the dollar from around 8.2374 at the end of trade on Monday, when Central bank Governor Ihor Sorkin backed up foreign exchange intervention by vowing to uphold financial stability.

Tensions have remained high since Yanukovich spurned an EU free trade deal that would have pushed Ukraine towards greater integration with Europe, and some 350,000 pro-EU protesters gathered in central Kiev, demanding his resignation.