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Russia’s proposal on Ukrainian debt can be implemented as part of IMF program — minister

November 18, 2015, 14:22 UTC+3
The Russian Finance Ministry has discussed the issue with the fund’s key shareholders and has submitted its proposals to the IMF
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Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov

© Sergei Fadeichev/TASS

MOSCOW, November 18. /TASS/. Russia’s Finance Ministry does not rule out a meeting with Ukraine’s colleagues regarding the issue of restructuring of the country’s debt to the Russian Federation, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Wednesday.

"I do not rule it out. So far there haven’t been any proposals but in case the IMF [International Monetary Fund], key shareholders and Ukraine take our suggestions positively no doubt we’ll be meeting our Ukrainian colleagues," he said.

The minister added that the Russian side has submitted its proposals to the IMF as "the IMF forms aid program as we’re speaking about restructuring, the issue of additional financial should be solved via the program and the fund’s shareholders."

 According to the minister, Russia's proposal to restructure the debt of Ukraine will help the International Monetary Fund avoid creation of a precedent when the order of providing financial aid by the institution must be changed.

"Our proposal is aimed at avoiding creation of a precedent when the procedure of settlement between the countries supported by the International Monetary Fund and their official creditors is changed. If the proposal is approved, there will be no need to change the rules of settlements between the IMF and official creditors. We believe that our proposal is quite acceptable and can be implemented under the current IMF program for Ukraine," he said.

The minister said that if the Russian proposal is supported until December 8, "we are ready to consult more widely with the Ukrainian side, the IMF, other participants on this issue and discuss the specific details of our proposal, so that they were acceptable both to Russia and our colleagues in the IMF and Ukraine."

"We have repeatedly stated our position and once again I can confirm that we will never accept the fact that Ukraine's debt to Russia can be added to list of debt to commercial creditors," Siluanov said.

Russia made a proposal to restructure the debt of Ukraine at $ 3 billion: it is proposed to pay the debt in three years in equal installments of $1 billion per year, starting from 2016. In 2015, Ukraine will be obliged to pay only an interest which is $75 million.

The IMF is currently revising the rules of lending to countries with sovereign debt. In particular it may change a rule obliging a country, which receives aid under the IMF program, to pay debt to its official creditors.

"They suppose that /under new rules/ they will be able to continue providing financial aid to a country that has an overdue debt to a country, which is not involved in the IMF program of assistance. Taking into account that it is the board of directors of the IMF which decides what country is involved and what country is not involved, Russia will be regarded as the country which is not part of the IMF assistance program to Ukraine," Svetlana Lukash, Russia’s Sherpa in G20 said earlier this month.

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