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Russian finance minister: Kiev’s stance on its $ 3bln debt to Russia unacceptable

November 15, 2015, 21:22 UTC+3

Russia is ready to negotiate the problem if Kiev offers normal terms

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Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov

© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

ANTALYA, November 15. /TASS/. Russia still thinks Kiev’s stance on the problem of its three-billion-US dollar debt to Russia unacceptable, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told journalists on Sunday.

When asked whether this issue could be addressed before the debt repayment term expired in December, he said Russia was ready to negotiate this issue if Kiev could offer normal terms.

"If we have initiatives from the Ukrainian side on the terms of negotiations, we will consider them," he said, adding that so far Ukraine was offering terms applicable to commercial creditors. "Naturally, it is unacceptable to hold talks on such conditions," he said.

The Ukrainian debt is planned to be addressed on the sidelines of the Group of Twenty summit, including with the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde, Russian President’s aide Yuri Ushakov said earlier.

"In general [during previous contacts with the head of the IMF] the situation around settlement of Ukraine’s debt to Russia was discussed and will be discussed this time at the meeting," Ushakov said, adding that Kiev should repay $3 bln "within clearly set timeline" on December 21 this year and "in case Ukraine does not do so reserve the right to apply to the court."

Moscow and Kiev failed to reach an agreement regarding Russia’s loan to Ukraine worth three billion US dollars extended in December 2013. Kiev insists on recognizing it as a commercial loan and hence on its restructuring and writing-off of 20% while Russia insists on the debt’s official status and its full repayment in December 2015.

Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov and his Ukraine’s counterpart Natalie Jaresko met only once on the matter in mid-October in Peru within annual IMF and World Bank meeting. The two ministers confirmed their positions though failed to reach an agreement. Russia’s Finance Ministry intends to apply to international court in case Kiev fails to repay its debt next month.

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