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Russian finance minister: Ukraine is virtually defaulting on its debt

May 20, 2015, 15:59 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russia expects Ukraine to fully pay back its debt of $3 bln by December 2015
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Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov

© Yekaterina Shtukina/Russian government's press service/TASS

MOSCOW, May 20. /TASS/. Ukraine is virtually defaulting on its debt, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Wednesday.

"It is a virtual default. We do not yet have grounds [to lodge claims to Ukraine - TASS], in June we should receive payment [from Ukraine - TASS] of $75 mln. If there is no payment, we will use the right to appeal to court," the minister said.

When answering the question whether Russia will apply to international court in case Ukraine refuses to repay its debt Siluanov said: "Absolutely - pursuant to our conditions of prospectus for bond issue that we invested in the funds of the National Wealth Fund."

Russia expects Ukraine to fully pay back its debt of $3 bln by December 2015.

On Tuesday, Ukraine’s parliament approved the law granting the government the right to impose moratorium on foreign debts payments, including the $3 bln debt received from Russia in 2013. The document was upheld by 256 MPs. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Ukraine was to pay $30 bln of foreign debt and $17 bln of domestic debt within 4 years. He added that the moratorium concerns only private creditors, holding the debt of Ukraine. He also called on the country's Western partners to grant it real financial assistance.

Kiev regards its $3 bln Eurobonds held by Russia as a private loan, which is thus subject to the moratorium. Moscow insists the loan cannot be considered private and should be paid back in due time - in December 2015.

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