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Ukraine’s finance minister: No debt restructuring offer received from Russia

December 09, 2015, 16:14 UTC+3 KIEV

Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko added that Kiev’s debt to Russia "will not shut it off" from credit facilities to be further granted by the International Monetary Fund

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Ukraine's Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko

Ukraine's Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko

© AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

KIEV, December 9. /TASS/. Ukraine has not received an official offer from the Russian Federation on its $3 bln debt restructuring, the country’s Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko said on Wednesday. "No, we haven’t received [an offer from Russia — TASS]," she said when answering the respective question.

The minister added that Kiev’s debt to Russia "will not shut it off" from credit facilities to be further granted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). "If we do not repay or restructure the debt on Russian eurobonds within the new IMF policy this will not shut us off from the IMF credit program," Jaresko said.

Earlier on Wednesday Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Ukraine will not repay $3 bln of debt to Russia, "because they are crooks." "I have a feeling that they will not repay (the debt — TASS), because they are crooks. They refuse to return the money," the Prime Minister said in his annual meeting with journalists.

Earlier Yaresko did not rule out that Ukraine would refuse to repay $3 bln worth of debt to Russia, with term of repayment till December 21. "We’re getting prepared to any options," the minister said. She also criticized Russia’s proposal to repay debt by installments under western guarantees as she said "this contradicts criteria of the International Monetary Fund on providing aid to Ukraine."

"We feel a strong pressure regarding the issue from the side of the people, which is opposing this debt’s repayment," Jaresko said.

In mid-November Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow had offered Ukraine to repay its $3 bln debt by $1 bln annual installments in 2016-2018. Putin stressed that Russia offered not only a restructuring but also better terms compared with those asked by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Russia had asked for guarantees on Ukraine’s debt from either the government of the United States or from the European Union, or from one of international financial institutions.

Later Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak said Russia expected the IMF and Ukraine’s creditors to respond before December 8, 2015.

Last week Russia’s Finance Ministry received an official refusal from the US government to provide guarantees on Ukraine’s debt. The Ministry also said Moscow will bring legal proceedings against Ukraine in case Kiev fails to repay $3 bln by December 20 this year, which will mean the country’s sovereign default.

In December 2013, the presidents of Russia and Ukraine, Vladimir Putin and Viktor Yanukovych, agreed that Moscow would grant Kiev a credit worth $15 bln through the placement of Ukrainian securities. Under the program bonds for 3 bln dollars were placed on the Irish Stock Exchange on December 20, 2013. Russia purchased the bonds using the funds from its National Welfare Fund.


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